Why Young Kids Need Wellness Checks

By Columbia Kaiyi Clinic 2021-12-28 17:06:42

Why are wellness check-ups for young children so important?

According to the America Academy of Pediatrics every baby should be checked at 2 months old, 4, 6, 9, then 12, 18, and 24 months old. Through all these checkups we can monitor a baby’s growth and record the measurements of a baby’s length, weight, head circumference and chest circumference into a growth chart. Then we can see if the baby’s growth is in the normal range. We also find if the baby’s abilities including gross motor skills, fine movement, speaking ability, social interaction are in the normal range.

For example, we see if the baby can raise his head at 3 months old. And if he cannot, then we see it as an important precaution sign about his gross movement. At 5 or 6 months he should sit up, and at 8 months old he should stand up with some support. If he cannot reach these growth milestones, we will think there are some problems with his development. We can divide development into gross movement (sitting up, crawling, standing), fine movement (opening and closing hands, grasp, shake hands, clap hands), language milestones (babbling, gestures, first word with intention at 12 months, few words at 15 months), social milestones (respond to touch, smiling at 3 months, eyes following movement), if at this age the baby shows no interest to his parents or any other thing, then this may be indicating autism during later development.


How frequently should checkups occur?

For toddlers older than 24 months old, they come in for a checkup every half-year. And if he is older than 36 months old, a check happens once a year. There is also a checkup form for entering kindergarten and starting local school. It checks things like weight, height, vision screening, ears, dental, head circumference, skin, blood test, and urine test. After elementary school it’s recommeded to do a checkup once every one or two years. For older kids, we can do checks for early puberty.


Are there illnesses pediatricians can detect that may not be obvious to the layperson?

We find many things like autism. Many parents will think their baby is very calm and not crying all day and night. The parents will like that condition, but that seems weird to a pediatrician. We think a baby should sometimes cry or express his or herself by struggling. If they don’t express themselves and they don’t show any interest in other people or the outer world, then that seems very weird. So we have some precaution signs from 3 months old to 3 years old. Every three months, we have different precaution signs, and if we find those signs then we will tell the parents. First of all, we will ask parents to observe and train the baby, to give them more interaction to see if the condition can be improved. If the condition is improved, then we can introduce some new games for parents to continue training and playing with the baby. If after playing with the baby the condition is not improved, then we can transfer the baby to other specialists.

The earliest age of autism diagnosis is 18 months old. But typically, the diagnosis is at two or three years old. In recent years, our awareness of autism has improved greatly. We can recognize the condition very early.



Dr Yubo Cai, Paediatrician

Dr Cai has over 15 years of clinical experience in paediatrics.

Columbia Kaiyi Clinic

Website: columbia-clinic.com

Tel: 400 663 7707