5 Questions to Ask at Your Child's Physical

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5 Questions to Ask at Your Child's Physical

When you bring your child for an annual, sports, or school physical, you have an ideal opportunity to gain insight into their development and needs. Pediatricians are trained to spot potential problems, but if you have a concern, be sure to voice it.

Your child’s annual pediatric checkup is an important part of their health. Your pediatrician keeps track of your child’s development, looks for signs of problems that can be addressed early, and answers any and all questions you have about your child’s health.

However, you may not know which questions to ask. Be assured that your child’s pediatrician is your ally and wants your child to thrive emotionally, mentally, and physically. Any concern you have, anything you wonder about in regard to your child’s health, can be addressed in a question.

At Academy Park Pediatrics, PCour team provides annual, school, and sports pediatric examinations at our Lakewood and Highlands Ranch, Colorado offices. Following are five questions you might want to ask your pediatrician. 

Is my child up to date on immunizations?

In the first few months of your child’s life, they receive a round of immunizations to protect them from childhood diseases that used to threaten young lives, such as diphtheria and polio. They continue to need vaccinations throughout childhood and even into adulthood.

While your pediatrician keeps track of your child’s immunizations and booster shots, if you’ve moved recently or changed schools, or if there are gaps in your child’s healthcare, you may wish to verify that your child is up to date. Feel free to ask us about any immunizations or boosters your child is due to receive.

Should my child get a COVID shot or booster?

Vaccines against COVID-19 are recommended for all children aged six months and up. COVID vaccines reduce the risk of developing symptoms from exposure to the coronavirus and its mutations. Even if your child does get infected, a vaccine reduces the severity of symptoms.

Your child should also get a full series of doses, which varies based on which vaccine they receive initially. Booster schedules also depend on the type of vaccine. If you have questions about when your child should get their next dose or booster, or where to get a vaccine, please let us know.

Does my child need a flu shot?

Even if your child had a flu shot last year, they’ll need a new one this year. Each year, the flu mutates enough to require a different type of vaccine. The ideal time for a flu shot is early fall; however, you can schedule one later if you miss that first window.

The younger a child is, the more severe their flu symptoms can be. Flu vaccines are safe and highly advised for babies aged six months and older

Is my child developing on schedule?

If you worry that your child isn’t on track for physical or mental development, feel free to ask us. During their exam, we conduct tests that evaluate whether they’re developing normally or not. 

However, you’re with your child every day. If you notice things such as your child speaking or crawling later than expected, please bring it up.

How can I get help with specific issues?

If you have any concerns about your child — whether they’re physical or emotional — their annual physical exam is the ideal place to address them. Whether your child sucks their thumb, wets the bed, seems unhappy, or has gained too much weight, we help you find an appropriate solution.

When your child has behavioral issues, we may recommend an evaluation for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If your child has a mental health challenge, we may refer them to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

You may notice that your child has symptoms when they eat a certain food or contact a certain type of material. We test for food sensitivities and custom design a diet that doesn’t trigger a reaction. We may refer your child to an allergist if we suspect they’re allergic to pollen or other symptoms.

Even if your child has acne or another skin issue, feel free to bring it up at their exam. We treat basic skin conditions, such as warts and acne, or refer them to a dermatologist for more specialized care.

Make the most of your child’s pediatric exam by asking the questions that get them the care they need. Contact our friendly team by phone or online form to schedule a physical today.