Well-baby exam: 7 important questions you should ask

3. Is my child's diet appropriate?

Most parents are concerned that their child's diet is lacking in something. The well-child visit is the perfect time to either confirm these concerns and get some guidance on how to correct them or be reassured that the diet is indeed appropriate. Suggestions about the diet come from a lot of sources: magazines, the grandparents, friends, and books. The well-baby check is the time to confirm whether this advice is good guidance or antiquated rubbish.

4. Is this thing on my child's body normal?

The thing may be anything, but many parents have certain minor concerns that they aren't really worried about but wonder if it is normal. A toenail that is shaped funny, a birthmark that seems different, or perhaps how ears are shaped are all examples of things that parents usually suspect are normal but need some reassurance. The well-baby exam is the perfect time to inquire about these concerns.

5. Is my child's blood pressure normal?

Starting at three years of age, it is recommended that each child have the blood pressure checked as part of the well-child exam. High blood pressure typically causes problems without causing a whole lot of symptoms, and it may be the first sign of something that needs further investigation.

6. Is that test really necessary?

There are very few "routine" tests that are recommended in children. A hemoglobin, usually done once at 9 or 12 months and an analysis of the urine, done once anytime between the ages of four to six years, are the only recommended routine tests. A pelvic exam and pap smear are recommended for sexually active adolescent females. A lead test at one year of age, a tuberculosis skin test and a cholesterol test are done only for those with risk factors. Aside from these, no other additional tests have been deemed necessary for routine care.

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