- An update of any immunizations that may be due. The “kindergarten shots” of Dtap (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), polio, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and varicella vaccines are given between 4-6 years of age and required prior to starting school. Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) and meningococcal (meningitis) vaccines are required going into 8th grade and a second dose of the meningococcal vaccine is required going into 12th grade.
- Review of your child’s growth charts. Your pediatrician has the complete background and medical history of your child, which can determine if your child’s growth since the last year is appropriate. Poor growth can be the first sign of a chronic illness.
- Review of your child’s chronic medical conditions, such as asthma or migraines, and refills of medications needed to treat those conditions.
- Evaluation of any abnormalities on exam or concerns that arise during the visit.
- Developmental and emotional screenings, as age-appropriate. This means ensuring your infant and preschooler are meeting milestones. In my office we also screen all teens for depression at their yearly visits.
- Discussion of health and safety topics that are important for all kids (sleep, limiting screen time, and a balanced diet to name a few). Also, we provide a private and confidential environment for your teen to share any questions or concerns they may have.
A yearly physical with your pediatrician is an invaluable part of your child’s health care, both for their current health and for their future growth and development. Plan now to schedule!
Lora Collier, MD, is a Board Certified Pediatrician at Esse Health Mason Road Pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital Specialty Care Center.
For over 130 years, Children's Hospital and its Washington University School of Medicine physician partners have remained a resource for pediatric health and wellness for the St. Louis region and beyond. They provide care in every pediatric specialty — from fetal care through adolescence. In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Louis Children's Hospital in all 10 specialties, the only children's hospital in Missouri to earn this distinction. Their Level One Pediatric Trauma Center is nationally verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the highest national recognition possible.
Call 314-454-KIDS (5437) to find a pediatrician or pediatric specialist, or to register for a class or event. Learn more at StLouisChildrens.org, member BJC Healthcare.
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