Regular medical care during the first few years of life is extremely important. Your physician will likely recommend infant checkups every couple of weeks for the first year. Following the first birthday, your physician will extend the checkups, but you will still have to bring them in one to two times per year. These checkups can become time consuming, especially with multiple children, but they are more important than you think.
Evaluation for proper development
One of the most important reasons for early physician checkups is to monitor the progress of development. Children are expected to gain a certain amount of weight, grow a certain amount of inches, and begin doing developmental things like talking and laughing at a certain age. It can be difficult to know when all of these developmental landmarks are. A physician is an important part in evaluating these developmental marks. They can also catch developmental problems early on and recommend solutions for progressing the baby.
Evaluation of delivery problems
When you delivered your infant, the physician on site likely did a full exam. However, it can be difficult to identify problems during this exam that is usually quick and hectic. Your primary physician can do a thorough exam after delivery. They can also monitor any problems that might have occurred during development or delivery. A cleft palate is an example of a problem that can occur at birth. Surgery to repair a cleft lip usually occurs in the first few months of life and is recommended within the first 12 months of life. Additionally, medical problems like laryngopharyngeal reflux could have occurred that are not immediately identified. If the infant requires airway reconstruction for laryngopharyngeal reflux, it is best that they get it as soon as possible.
Common childhood problems
Children are also more prone to common ENT problems. Whether they are dealing with chronic ear infections, hypernasal speech, or laryngopharyngeal reflux, it is important that they receive treatment immediately. If you do not keep up with these routine physical exams, your child?s ear and breathing problems could escalate and surgery may no longer be an option. It is also important to understand that surgical procedures change over the years. For example, thirty years ago, about 90% of tonsillectomies in children were done for recurrent infections, now it is about 20% for infection and about 80% for obstructive sleep problems (OSA).
Easily correctable medical problems that affect development
Some common problems, even chronic ear infections, can also affect development and academic success if they are not treated immediately. An ear problem that goes untreated could lead to hearing loss. A laryngopharyngeal reflux problem left untreated could cause permanent breathing and sleeping problems. Additionally, if the child is constantly dealing with a medical problem, their school attendance declines, thus affecting their academic success. More than 90% of all children will have at least one ear infection by two years of age. Ear infections in this age are not necessarily a concern, as long as they are treated quickly.
Children require regular physician checkups from the time they are born until they are a teenager. They are going through a lot of developmental stages and ignoring a medical condition can stunt this growth. It can affect their breathing, sleeping, and even affect their ability to do well in school. It is important to keep up with all physician checkups.