West End Pediatrics recommends that our patients visit us each year for an annual physical exam or “check-up.” Our annual exam visits are a wonderful opportunity for our physicians and pediatrics nurses to perform a complete physical examination. Our caring pediatricians will conduct each part of the exam with warmth and understanding, making each visit as comfortable as possible.
Beginning at age 3, we would like to see each child for an annual physical exam. This is a comprehensive exam where, in addition to medical problems and management, we explore how our patients are progressing in other important areas: at home, in school and with friends. During middle school and teenage years we pay particular attention to each child's academic progress, social development and emotional adjustment. Although most insurance plans cover an annual physical, you should contact your carrier to determine whether your coverage is based on the plan year or the calendar year.
Whenever possible, a parent should accompany a child under 18 years of age to well visits to facilitate first-hand communication between doctor and parent, and to authorize the necessary immunizations. A caregiver's permission is acceptable at either a sick or well visit only if a parent has completed a Consent To Treat form to authorize treatment.
The Benefits of Annual Physical Exams for Children
During your annual exam, your primary care physician will check and discuss your child’s health, growth and development. It is also a time for us to:
- Update family medical history
- Review your child’s medical history & immunization status
- Provide age-appropriate safety information & health education
- Perform screening of your child’s growth, emotional & social development
- Check blood pressure, vision & hearing
Occasionally, we perform laboratory screening for cholesterol and anemia, along with other tests depending on your child’s individual risk factors for a given health problem. For older children and teen physical exams, these visits are a chance for us to check on educational successes and goals, and to perform necessary sports physicals required for participation. When you bring your child for a yearly check-up, please let us know if you have had your child’s hearing or vision screened by a specialist so that we will not duplicate these important services.
As you can tell from the above list, these visits are comprehensive and we take this part of our job very seriously! When performing annual exams, our practice follows the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ “Bright Futures”program.
Care for Long-term or Special Health Needs
Because of the time involved, yearly annual exam visits may not be the best time to address chronic health issues such as asthma, diabetes or ADHD in great depth. However, we will always make every effort to identify all significant health issues during check-ups, renew all prescriptions and give you follow-up recommendations.
If there is a need and time is available during the health care visit to address a significant medical issue (ADHD, asthma, chronic headache, obesity, etc) in detail, or if the visit includes any special screening or laboratory testing that is medically necessary, there will be extra charges incurred.
If your child has special needs, please let the scheduler know prior to making your next appointment.