It’s never too early to start taking care of your child’s health. Many parents in Bastrop, Texas, don’t realize the importance of well-child exams until it’s too late. By then, their child may have already developed a severe illness that could have been caught and treated with regular checkups. Here are eight ways you can benefit from Bastrop well child exams.

Developmental Screening

The developmental screening portion of this exam will help you determine if there are any problems with your child’s development. Developmental delays may include:

  • Speech delay or language delay.
  • Social skills deficits.
  • Gross motor skill delays (poor balance). 

However, developmental delays do not always lead to intellectual disabilities like autism spectrum disorders. If any developmental problems were found during the screening process, then follow-up with a pediatrician can help to confirm a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

Physical Examination

A well-child exam will have a physical examination where the pediatrician uses a stethoscope to check your child’s heart and lungs. They will also check your child’s eyes and use a reflex hammer to test their neurological response. 

The pediatrician will also check your child’s hips to ensure that they are properly developed and there are no signs of muscular weakness in the legs or feet. If problems are found during this portion of the exam, this may lead to further evaluation by a specialist, such as an orthopedic doctor or developmental optometrist (pediatric ophthalmologist).

Update Their Immunizations

An updated list of your child’s immunizations will be created during a well-child exam to keep them up-to-date on all their shots. Additionally, the pediatrician may offer additional immunizations based on your child’s age and where you live. This is why you need to have this type of exam regularly because your child’s immunization schedule may change over time.

Assess Their Mental and Emotional Well-Being

Your child’s pediatrician will assess their mental and emotional well-being by asking you questions about your child. These questions may include, “does your child have a lot of energy?” or “is your child picky with the foods that they eat.” 

Your answers to these questions can give valuable information to the pediatrician, who can then share what they think. It is important to note that this part of the exam should not cause you stress as it is designed to help your child live a healthy life.

Offer Support to You as a Parent

Your child’s pediatrician will offer support to you as the parent of your child if you are struggling with parenting or perhaps have questions about setting limits. You can also discuss other issues, such as feeding problems, sleeping problems, and any concerns that may be related to how your child acts at home, school, or in public.

Offer Education and Relevant Resources

As a parent, you should feel empowered to take the best care of your child possible. Your child’s pediatrician can help with this by offering education and relevant resources to allow you to do so. Some of the topics that may be covered during this time include breastfeeding, sleep safety, reducing screen time, reading food labels for nutrition, starting solid foods, and safe playground activities.

You should now better understand what to expect during your child’s well-child exam. This type of exam is crucial as it can help identify developmental delays, offer updated immunizations, and assess your child’s mental and emotional wellbeing. The pediatrician will also provide support and resources which you can use to take the best care of your child possible.