May 29, 2018

3 Important Reasons To Schedule An Annual Well Child Visit

“Do I really need to bring my kids in for a check-up every year? Even if they are perfectly healthy?”

This is a question many parents ask. It may even be a question that you as a parent wondered yourself.

The answer is YES!

It’s important that they come in at least once a year for a check-up, regardless of their age or health. Because it’s such a common question, we thought it would be helpful to discuss why an annual exam is so important.

  • Prevention

    There are many illnesses and injuries that don’t have immediate symptoms. If your child has an exam every year, it will be easier to identify potential problems. Plus, it gives the pediatrician an opportunity to treat them.

    Immunizations are also very important when it comes to prevention. Your pediatrician will make sure your child is up to date on all immunizations, as well as answer any questions or concerns you may have.

    An annual exam is also a great time to discuss proper nutrition and safety in the home and at school. We want to help prevent injuries and promote healthy habits – with an annual exam your pediatrician is given an opportunity each year to do so.

  • Track Growth & Development

    It’s exciting for you and your child to see just how much they’ve grown in a year’s time. It’s also an indication of proper development and milestones. Seeing your child once a year enables your pediatrician to keep up with those milestones.

  • Create a Team Approach

    It’s a great time to build a trusting relationship with your HMG pediatrician. Working together as a team will help keep your child on the right track, for both physical and social development.

    What we tend to see is that parents quit bringing their child in for annual visits as they reach school age. It is just as important, if not more important, that adolescent age children have a trusting relationship with their pediatrician. They are faced with many social and behavioral issues that they don’t feel comfortable discussing with their parents. It’s important they have a trusted physician to discuss these issues with.

The Annual Well Child Visit includes:

  • Measure height, record weight and head circumference or blood pressure based upon age
  • Development, diet and growth parameters
  • Vaccinations
  • Physical Exam
  • General discussion regarding findings during exam and general counseling about health & wellbeing
  • Update current medications and medication history and refill of maintenance medications pertinent to care

Common Questions & Answers

  • My child recently had a sports physical completed for school. Is this the same as an annual well visit?

    No. A sports physical should never take the place of an annual well child exam. A sports physical is often not completed by a pediatrician and does not include all the areas of an annual well child visit. Also, not all insurance companies pay for sports physicals, while most insurance plans cover the cost of a preventative well child visit.

    If you need a sports physical, we’ll happily complete your child’s sports physical forms when you arrive for your child’s annual well child visit.

  • How often should my child have a well child exam?

    When your baby is first born, it’s important that they come in for frequent visits because they grow so quickly. It’s recommended to bring your baby within 2-5 days of birth, 1,2,4,6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 months. Then again at 24, 30 and 36 months and annually after the age of 3.

  • What can parents do to prepare for a well-child exam to ensure that it’s a successful, productive visit?

    First, call to schedule the appointment! We have two locations in Bristol (HMG Primary Care at Sapling Grove and Bristol Pediatric Associates) and one in Kingsport (HMG Pediatrics at Kingsport).

    For parents who work, our Kingsport location offers convenient after-work appointments from May – August. We understand that it’s not always possible to attend appointments during normal hours (Mon-Fri, 8-5pm).

    We encourage you to make a list of all the topics you’d like to discuss, such as development, behavior, sleep, eating or relations with other family members. Present your top 3 to 5 questions or concerns at the start of the visit. That ensures that your main concerns or the main concerns of the child are addressed first.

As a final important message, here’s pediatrician Dr. Ley (AKA Donald Duck)

Call to schedule an annual well child visit


Bristol Pediatric Associates423-968-2599

HMG Primary Care at Sapling Grove423-990-2414


HMG Pediatrics at Medical Plaza423-230-2430