Guest blogger: Karen R.. Compliance, Quality and Clinical Program Specialist
Keeping a child healthy is a top priority for all parents. It begins before birth with the mother’s prenatal care and continues after the baby is born. Encouraging a healthy diet for your child is essential in aiding in your child’s growth and development as well as promoting a good defense against obesity and childhood diseases such as diabetes.
To ensure proper nutrition for your child, it is important to monitor what he or she eats. Some key factors to consider for meal planning should include:
- Introducing and encouraging fruits and vegetables,
- Avoiding sodas and other sugary drinks,
- Controlling portions and fat content, and
- Being mindful of sodium intake.
Parents are also tasked with the responsibility of identifying their child’s wellness needs. Seeking a medical provider for your child is a critical component for meeting those needs and fostering a healthy outcome. Whether it is a family practitioner or pediatrician, your provider can offer the guidance and assistance you need in making good nutritional and health decisions for your child from birth to adulthood. It is important to find a provider that is right for you and your child by ensuring that the provider recognizes and understands the dynamics of your child’s health needs and is able to effectively communicate those needs to you.
Child Wellness Visits
Well-visits can have a significant impact on your child’s early development and future health. Wellness visits should begin in the first month of life. Each visit consists of an exam and evaluation and may include vaccinations as well. Below is a sample schedule your provider may suggest for your child.
- First visit – usually 1-2 weeks after birth
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 2 years
- 2 1/2 years
- 3 years
- Yearly visits
Each year, top disease experts and doctors who care for children work together to decide what to recommend that will best protect U.S. children from diseases. The schedule is evaluated each year based on the most recent scientific data available. Changes are announced in January, if needed. The schedule is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.1
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a recommended immunization schedule for children and adolescents aged 18 years or younger, which can be viewed on their website.
As part of this year’s goals for you and your family, be sure to schedule all well-visits recommended by your child’s provider. Compass Rose Health Plan members can locate network providers using the online Provider Directory, or by calling a UMR Plan Advisor at (888) 438-9135.
1American Academy of Pediatrics. (2017). Retrieved from Safety-Prevention/Immunizatons: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/immunizations/Pages/Child-Immunization-Schedule-Why-Is-It-Like-That.aspx
2Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children and Adolescents Aged 18 Years or Younger, UNITED STATES,. (2017). Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf