No matter what grade your child is about to enter, it’s always a good idea to add an annual wellness exam to your back-to-school to-do list.
Benefits of annual wellness visits include:
- Prevention – During a wellness visit, your child gets scheduled immunizations to prevent illness. You also can ask your pediatrician about nutrition and safety in the home and at school.
- Growth and development tracking - See how much your child has grown in the time since their last visit and talk with your doctor about your child's development. You can discuss your child's milestones, social behaviors and learning.
- Ability to raise concerns – Annual wellness visits are a great time to discuss topics such as development, behavior, sleep, eating or getting along with other family members. Make a list of three to five questions or concerns you would like to discuss during the visit.
- Team Approach - Regular visits create strong, trustworthy relationships among pediatrician, parent and child. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends annual wellness visits as a way for pediatricians and parents to serve the needs of children. This team approach helps develop optimal physical, mental and social health.
While scheduling your annual wellness visit, keep in mind sport physicals are not the same as a wellness. Annual wellness visits focus on the overall health of your child, while sports-specific exams focus on determining whether it's safe for your child to participate in a sport. This includes assessing any past injuries, such as concussions or sprains.
Annual wellness visits are free to children on Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program). If you need help finding a doctor or scheduling an appointment, Colorado Community Health Alliance (CCHA) can help. Contact CCHA Member Support Services at 1-855-627-4685 (TTY 711) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.