Annual Checkups are an important part of growing up! From birth all the way to adulthood, you and your child will likely be visiting the doctor’s office regularly. Sometimes, it can be hard to remember all of the appointments you have to keep with growing children, but annual checkups are an essential habit for raising healthy kids.

Annual checkups accomplish a lot. Pediatricians need to measure your child’s weight, height, and head circumference to ensure that your child is growing at a rate similar to other children his/her age. Growth charts, and how your child measures up against them can often help doctors see a larger picture of your child’s overall health.

Since children, especially little ones, cannot articulate all of their symptoms or needs, it is important for them to be thoroughly examined by a pediatrician a few times a year to establish whether or not their height, weight, measurements, eating habits, sleeping habits, communication skills, neurological markers and musculoskeletal health is where it should be for their age group. Early diagnoses can often prevent further problems down the road. Annual checkups are also the times when your children may receive immunizations.

As children get older, annual exams can establish or rule out developmental concerns, hearing and vision concerns, and many other illnesses that affect children.

Healthy development can often be measured by a child’s ability to do certain things at certain ages, such as putting words together, running, kicking and throwing a ball, following commands, correctly answering questions, drawing shapes, and the manner in which they interact with other children. Annual checkups can help to put your child’s performance in these areas in perspective when compared to other healthy children in their age group.