Taking your child to the doctor for an allergic reaction, an ear infection, or labored breathing is only one type of visit.  Well child checks (WCC) are a time for scheduled vaccinations and to see how much your child has grown in the past few months. Additionally, they are also a chance to raise questions and concerns about your child’s development, behavior, and general well-being — questions that are difficult to discuss during sick visits. For instance, pediatric health care providers are used to discussing common concerns with parents such as eating, sleeping, toilet training, social behaviors, as well as attention and learning problems and environmental concerns such as lead poisoning. Having regular well child visits with your child’s health care provider and raising the concerns that matter most to you are key ingredients in helping the provider know you and your child, and in forming a reliable and trustworthy relationship.  

We realize that your time is valuable, therefore we want to make the most out of your WCC.  Pediatric health care providers are experts in child health, but parents are experts on their child.  Thus, a team approach can best develop optimum physical, emotional, and developmental health for the child.  Parents and patients should never feel embarassed about asking any type of question during their visit.  Creating a list is one way to ensure you get all the information you need. Jotting down three to five questions and bringing them to the visit will help you focus on your issues of concern and start the dialogue with your health care provider.  A lot of first-time parents like me may not realize that they can ask about any and everything related to the care of their child — medical or not.  

We follow the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations for scheduling WCC visits, recommended vaccinations are also listed in parentheses:

3 to 5 days

1 month

2 months (Pediarix [combo DTaP, IPV, Hep B], Hib, Prevnar, Rotarix)

4 months (Pediarix [combo DTaP, IPV, Hep B], Hib, Prevnar, Rotarix)

6 months (Pediarix [combo DTaP, IPV, Hep B], Hib, Prevnar)

9 months (No vaccines or catch-up)

12 months (MMR, Varivax, Hep A)

15 months (DTaP, Prevnar, Hib)

18 months (No vaccines or catch-up)

24 months (Hep A)

30 months 

3 years

4 years

5 years (DTaP, IPV, MMR, Varivax)

And once every year thereafter for an annual health supervision visit that includes a physical exam as well as a developmental, behavioral, and learning assessment.

Additional routine immunizations given at 10-13 years old, per provider's decision: Tdap, Menactra (a second dose due at 16-18), Gardasil (3 shots over 6 months).

We give out a lot of handouts during Well Child Checks.  You can find the AAP handouts for parents and patients on the left hand side of the page under Downloads.  You can find additional vaccine information by clicking on Immunization Resources tab on the left.