In my experience, parents always bring their children for regular checkups during the first four years, so they get their vaccinations. But that should not stop at age 4.
There are many reasons why children should see their pediatric provider every single year:
- We will check to make sure your child is reaching developmental milestones as she grows. These are things like rolling over, sitting, hearing and seeing properly, and learning speech. If a milestone is missed, early intervention is the best way to address problems and have good outcomes.
- Children can develop health problems that are not easy to spot. We are on the lookout for things like thyroid problems, diabetes, behavioral or attention problems and any developmental delays, even in older children.
- We will also check dental care and make sure your child is referred to a dentist for regular checkups. (We are lucky at BCHC at Rockland to have dental care right here!)
- By seeing us regularly, children develop a trusting relationship that can help them as they become pre-teens and teenagers. Often, “tweens” and teens will not tell a parent if they are worried, anxious, depressed or experiencing bullying or emotional challenges. But, they might seek advice from their pediatric provider on the complicated issues they face as teenagers. That’s what we’re here for.
Parents and pediatric providers – we work as a team to keep your child well.
To schedule a pediatric appointment at Berks Community Health Center at Rockland (1110 Rockland Street in Reading), or another BCHC location, call (610)988-4838.
By Erin Churico, CPNP
Board-Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Berks Community Health Center