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As we enter August, we enter the back-to-school season. Many parents over the next few weeks will start shopping for school supplies, researching health lunch recipes, and scheduling their child’s annual checkup. This annual checkup is a great opportunity for you to ask your pediatric doctors a few very important questions regarding your child’s health.

Mental Health 

You need to start thinking about your child’s mental health at a young age. Making sure your child’s mental health is in check is just as important as their physical health. While visiting your pediatrician make sure to ask questions such as, “How can I help my child deal with mental health?” and “How can I create a safe mental environment at home?”. Your pediatrician is a great resource to help you understand your child’s current mental state and what distress signs you need to look out.

Learning and Cognitive Development

All parents need to take an active role in their child’s learning of cognitive development. Ask your child’s pediatrician in regards to your child’s development with language, reading, and literacy prior to your child’s fifth birthday.

One of the most effective ways to minimize the impact of learning disorders is to have early intervention. All children develop at a different pace, but parents should be questioning whether or not their child follows the average timeline for learning milestones.

Age-Appropriate Development  

As your child grows and develops, there a few questions that you will want to ask every year. Doctors follow age-specific guidelines for your child’s annual checkups, therefore every year these answers will vary. Ask questions such as:

  • Is my child’s height and weight appropriate for their age?
  • Is my child’s mental development maturing at the proper rate?
  • How much physical activity should my child have?
  • How much sleep does my child need?
  • Is my child’s behavior normal?

These annual visits to your pediatrician are important for both you and your child. They help to build a meaningful relationship with your pediatrician and help your child become more active in their own healthcare journey. Not only do these visits help you discover what is happening now with your child but what you can expect next.