From early infancy through the end of adolescence, childhood is a time of rapid growth and change. To help you keep tabs on your child’s development and stay on top of their evolving health needs through every stage, Pediatric Practitioners of Oklahoma in Claremore, Oklahoma, offers a full schedule of well-child exams for children of all ages.
Well-child checkups are the cornerstone of quality pediatric primary care, an area of medicine devoted to helping your child thrive through every phase of their growth and development. At these important visits, you can expect our expert team to provide:
Another essential component of each well-child exam is the time we spend talking with you, whether we’re discussing the developmental milestones and changes you can expect soon, or addressing any questions or concerns you have about your child.
Preparing a list of questions about any aspect of your child’s health and wellness before your appointment can help you make the most of every well-child exam. Here, our seasoned team of pediatric providers offers four helpful inquiries for you to consider at your child’s next visit.
1. Is my child getting enough sleep?
The amount of sleep your child generally needs each night depends on various factors, the most important of which is their age. Given that a growing child’s sleep needs change over time, it’s understandable that many parents have a hard time keeping up with how much sleep is enough at each developmental stage.
General pediatric sleep guidelines indicate that, in a 24-hour period:
- Infants (4-12 months old) need 12-16 hours of sleep
- Toddlers (1-2 years old) should get 11-14 hours of sleep
- Preschoolers (3-5 years old) require 10-13 hours of sleep
- School-age kids (6-12 years old) need 9-12 hours of sleep
- Adolescents (13-18 years old) require 8-10 hours of sleep
Sleep guidelines for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers include time spent napping. At every age during childhood, getting the recommended amount of sleep is associated with better health, including improved attention, learning, memory, behavior, and emotional control. If your child is struggling with sleep in any way, our team can help.
2. How can I help my child eat healthier foods?
Most parents who start introducing solids around six months of age find that their baby happily eats a variety of healthy foods, from sweet potato puree to mashed avocado. But, as kids grow and change, what started as a healthy appetite for wholesome foods can give way to picky eating or a strong desire for unhealthy processed foods.
Nutrition is a foundational component of healthy growth and development. You may wonder:
- Is my child eating enough fruits and veggies?
- How can I get my child to eat more fruits and veggies?
- Is my child getting enough protein, calcium, etc.?
- How much should my child eat each day?
- Should I be giving my child a nutritional supplement?
- How can I break or prevent unhealthy eating habits?
Whether you’re worried that your toddler’s nutritional intake falls short because of picky eating, or you’d like to encourage your teen to make healthier food choices on their own, we can offer specific recommendations and concrete advice.
3. What can I do to keep my child safe?
You want to keep your growing child safe, both in daily life and as they continue changing and testing the limits of their independence. With babies and toddlers, common parental concerns revolve around safe sleep practices, car seat setup, the best way to child-proof dangerous spaces, and sun exposure.
For parents of older kids, booster seat graduation and screen time are frequent concerns. With younger adolescents and teens, safety conversations often center around cell phones, screen time, and social media use; smoking, vaping, drugs, and alcohol use; and sexual activity. In some cases, we may ask to talk one-on-one with older teens about these issues.
4. Is it normal that my child …?
You know your child better than anyone else. If you have concerns about anything at all, our team is here to listen and help. We’ll let you know if there’s nothing to worry about, and when warranted, we’ll give you the information and expert advice you need to effectively address an emerging health problem or unwanted behavioral issue.
From thumb-sucking in later preschool years, frequent bed-wetting, and uncontrollable public temper tantrums to weight gain concerns, severe menstrual period symptoms, and trouble making friends, no health question or wellness concern is off-limits at a well-child exam.
Do you have questions about your growing child’s evolving health needs? We’re here to help. To learn more, call 918-283-4660 or book an appointment online with Pediatric Practitioners of Oklahoma today.