Friday 16 October 2020

The Importance Of Regular Health Checks for Children

 New motherhood is a wonderful (even though extremely exhausting) experience, but it can also be a stressful time, more so if you are a first-time mother. You don’t know what to expect (even though you have probably read several books through pregnancy), especially regarding your baby’s health and well-being. The slightest shift from normalcy can be hugely worrying:  Why is my baby’s poop a different colour? What is that rash on his back? Why is he asking for more milk? 

And while this is normal, it is also essential to make sure you are on top of things as far as your baby’s medical checks and vaccinations are concerned. And this applies to older children too. As they say, prevention is better than cure, so if you suspect something is not right or aren’t sure of a particular symptom your baby/child has, don’t think twice and have it checked.

Here are a few checks to keep in mind during your child’s growing-up years.

  1. The Newborn Physical Examination

This is one of the first checks your baby will have; it is carried out a few hours

(or within the first 72 hours) after the baby is born. This check aims to spot any

problems early on, in which case treatment can be started at the earliest. 

The baby’s eyes, heart, hip joints and testicles (for boys) are examined to see

if everything is normal. 

Image credit: Pixabay

  1. The Six-Eight Week Check

When your baby is between six to eight weeks old, there is another check to see if

everything is fine and whether your baby is developing well. Your baby will be measured

for weight and height again at this check, which will also give an idea if he or she

is feeding well. 

  1. Eye Test

While serious eye problems in children are rare, it is vital to have regular eye tests for

them. Children might not realise there is a problem until it is too late or unless they suffer

from constant headaches. And with children today being exposed to screens far more

than before, it is essential to regularly check their eyesight. Contact us for all your eye

concerns or for a wide range of glasses.  

After birth, your child’s eyes might be tested again during the vision screening check

when they are around four or five years old, once they start school.

  1. Hearing Test

Your baby’s hearing will also be checked around 4-5 weeks of age. There will not be a

need to check your child’s hearing in later years if all is well; however, if your child is not

speaking or interacting as other children their age, it might be worth doing another hearing

test to see if that is, in fact, the problem for their speech delay. 

  1. Allergy test

It is not routine to have an allergy test for your child; however, if you feel your baby or

toddler is allergic to certain food groups (like dairy or nuts), or something external like

pollen, it is better to have an allergy test sooner than later. Some allergies might be mild,

but sometimes allergies can flare up and become serious, so it’s best to find out and be safe.

  1. Dyslexia test

Again, dyslexia is something you should only test your child for IF you find your child

struggling with basic reading, writing, spelling and numbers. It is a very specific learning

disability, and if detected earlier on, it can help both the child and the parents deal with it

more effectively and help the child get the support he or she needs.

  1. ADHD Tests

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not always simple to diagnose as it ranges through

a broad spectrum. Some children are considered borderline ADHD but it often takes years to

come to a valid conclusion on the same. However, if you feel your child is on the spectrum or

shows signs of having ADHD, do see a specialist and ask for your child to be screened and

tested as again, early detection can help your child. 


It is also crucial to keep abreast of the necessary vaccinations for your child, from their

routine vaccinations as babies through their toddler years and then teen years. The NHS

offers children of school-going age the flu vaccination every year via their school, so keep a

note of that and help protect your child against the flu during the winter months. 

The Meningitis B vaccine was previously not part of the routine immunisation programme, but has been made mandatory for babies born after 1 July 2015. For those children born before that, the vaccine is available privately.

**Collaborative Post**

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