As part of our Smarty Health series with Carolinas HealthCare System, we chatted with Dr. Andrew Dews, a pediatrician at Arboretum pediatrics. We picked his brain on what new parents can expect when heading to the pediatrician for their child’s annual check up. Read his tips right here.
1. What are the top 5 things you need to take away from your pediatrician from your annual check-up?
1. Is my child growing and developing appropriately?
2. Age-appropriate healthy diet, exercise, sleep/, hygiene practices, and bowel and bladder habits
3. Developmental norms for age and guidance on upcoming developmental milestones and how to prepare for them
4. Information about immunizations
5. Anticipatory guidance on issues like safety and injury prevention
2. Preparation – what can a parent bring to a check-up to make it most efficient?
I like it when parents make a list of questions that they want answered at the well check. It keeps us on task, and many times they ask questions that deal with issues that I need to cover at the well check.
3. What happens at a check-up? Can my child get vaccines, etc?
Measurements for growth (weight, height, head circumference) are taken and plotted on a growth curve. Vision and hearing may be performed, depending on the age of the child. Discussions around the five subjects addressed in the first question will take up the largest part of the visit. A physical examination will be performed. Labs may or may not be performed at the visit. Immunizations per AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and ACIP (American Committee on Immunization Practices) guidelines should be performed.
4. How often should your child have a check-up? Why is it important if they aren’t sick?
Check-ups are more frequent in the first two years of life (2 weeks/1 month/2 months/4 months/6 months/9 months/12 months/15 months/18 months/2 years). After two years, we advise annual check-ups. Preventive care performed at check-ups is important to general health, and many times problems can be detected and addressed early at a well check.
Thanks, Dr. Dews!
Dr. Andrews Dews is a Board Certified pediatrician at Arboretum Pediatrics. He graduated from medical school at the University of Virginia in 1996 and completed residency at Carolinas Medical Center in 1999.
7800 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC 28226