How often should my school-age child see a doctor?
Real Mom Problem
“Do kids still need a yearly doctor's visit after they turn five? My son is turning six. I know he's up to date on his shots, so does he still need a checkup?”
- 1. Check with your child's pediatrician to find out the office's policy on annual exams
- 2. Some moms believe yearly, preventive care is important for keeping kids healthy
- 3. Other moms feel it's best to only see the doctor when their child needs medical attention
Real Mom Solutions
With babies and toddlers, moms tend to take their kids to the doctor regularly. But what happens as your child grows? Do they still need to see the doctor every year? See how the moms of CafeMom handle annual well visits.
Some Moms Believe in Yearly Exams
My three older kids all go for annual visits, to make sure they are growing the way they should without any issues. Same reason they get their teeth cleaned twice a year and get their eyes checked yearly. I always tell the kids, I own their bodies till they are 18 so I have to make sure I keep them in good working order. I have two boys so I use the car analogy; you have to do maintenance on your body like you do a car to make sure it stays running for a long, long time!!
My kids go yearly. The doctor checks their hearing, eyes, and general health. It was one of these annual checkups that led us to discover my son's lazy eye. My pediatrician also keeps a list of identifying marks, such as moles, and checks them to be sure there is no change.
I bring my 10-year-old daughter to the doctor for a checkup EVERY year to check for proper development. The doctor keeps a growth chart tracking height/weight to watch for spikes. There's also the check for proper bone development. If your insurance covers it, you should definitely go for an annual physical (for you, too). If there is no insurance coverage, try to save up for it because it's better to be preventive than to react.
We go to the doctor every year for a physical. I am a firm believer that an annual exam monitors growth, blood pressure, and other health indicators, and can catch potential issues before they become life threats.
My kids will go every year for a checkup. It's a good habit to get into. Instill it now and hopefully they will carry it through adulthood when it's really important to do preventive care.
Others Bring Their Kids Less Often
My kids are never sick so the only time they see their doctor is for well visits. We moved and our doctor in PA said he likes to still see them yearly after the age of five but it's not mandatory or anything. We don't usually do yearly visits after five. The oldest had a checkup last month at 11 (needed shots for middle school). Last visit was at nine. My almost 10-year-old and almost 9-year-old haven't seen a doctor since their kindergarten physicals. We plan to get them checked since we just moved again and have a new doctor.
I think after five they recommend every other year. I do it when I feel like it's been awhile or I have a small concern that doesn't warrant a sick visit.
We see the doctor once every two years unless they have something specific I need to ask for. My older son isn't due for a checkup this year but I do want to get him on medication for bedwetting so I will be taking him in for a checkup so the doctor can prescribe it.
Some Feel Checkups Aren't Needed
I don't take my oldest son to the doctor every year for a well checkup. He is about to turn eight. He goes every year to get his flu shot and the nurse checks to see if his shots are up to date.
I only take them to well checkups the first year and only because insurance forces my hand. After that we only go when sick.
The only time my kids go to the doctor after age five is if they are sick.
I don't usually take my kids to the doctor unless I have a concern.
I have not yet once found a reason to take a healthy child to the doctor. There are sick people in doctor's offices. Unless there was an issue of some sort, why go? How do you even know they are still healthy one week later, ten weeks later, six months later?
I don't believe children over five need yearly checkups unless they need a physical for school, camp, or daycare. If you want flu shots then go, but otherwise I don't bring my nine-year-old unless he is sick. Just call your pediatrician and ask what they recommend.