5 Reasons Why It’s Important to Maintain Your Well-Child Schedule
By Audrey Johnson, M.D.
Over the past few months, most of us have thought of nothing more than the COVID-19 pandemic and everything that comes along with it: keeping your kids safe, keeping your kids entertained and keeping your kids from destroying your home.
And while we still need to focus on doing all we can to protect ourselves from the coronavirus, we need to make sure we continue to monitor other aspects of our children’s health.
If I haven’t seen you for a while, I look forward to welcoming you and your children back for a well-child visit. At Cook Children’s, we are taking many precautions to make sure you are safe when you walk into our office. You will notice our masks and eye protection. We’ve always taken extra steps to make sure we separate well-child and sick visits, spacing them out over the course of a day.
We are doing everything we can to make sure you will be safe and one of the main reasons we are doing this is because we believe that maintaining your child’s well-child schedule is important. Here are a few reasons why:
- It’s important to not get behind on vaccines. Vaccines work and a schedule helps prevent many types of diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella, the flu … and more.
- It’s important to monitor your child’s growth as this can be a key to a patient’s overall health. Children grow fast, especially when they are younger. We want to keep up with your child’s height, weight and head circumference – all important aspects of your child’s medical records. Their growth allows us to see how your child is progressing and to catch, and prevent, any issues early.
- To evaluate the physical and emotional well-being of your child. Even before the pandemic, pediatricians were placing a greater emphasis on your child’s emotions and mental health. We now screen for things like depression and that’s wonderful. This is especially important with everything going on in the world with the pandemic and everything we’ve seen in the news lately. A child may be more inclined to talk to their pediatrician than with parents or even friends.
- To identify any developmental concerns as early detection is important. Sometimes, we think of a well-child visit as just about keeping up with a child’s shot record, but it’s so much more. The visit allows pediatricians to see how your child’s functioning. We look at their communication, behavior and social skills. Plus, we evaluate their interaction with others, motor and sensory skills and adaptive abilities.
- It helps to identify if there is a need to evaluate for certain conditions such as anemia, high cholesterol, diabetes, thyroid conditions, etc. I know that sentence can be scary for parents. But the important thing to remember is that the earlier a condition is diagnosed the quicker we can begin treatment.
And my final reason for the importance of asking you to schedule a well-child visit is a bit of a selfish one. I miss you and I look forward to seeing you and your child walk back into my office for the next well-child visit.
Dr. Audrey Johnson was born in McKinney and grew up down the road in the once small town of Wylie. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at Baylor University in Waco. After college, she attended medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. After receiving her medical degree, she came back to Dallas and completed her internship and residency at Children's Medical Center. She is board certified in pediatrics and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is a pediatrician at Cook Children's Pediatrics Windsong.To make an appointment with Dr. Johnson click here or call 682-303-8050.
She can't imagine not being a pediatrician. From making her brother be her patient when she was younger to working in a pediatric office as a receptionist in high school, medicine has always been a part of her life. She feels blessed to have her childhood dream turned into reality and serving the community not far from where she was raised. She strives to practice evidence based medicine and is dedicated to providing quality and compassionate care to children of all ages.
Outside of the clinic, Dr. Johnson enjoys spending time with her family and friends, especially her nieces, Harlynn and Hazel, and her dog, Charlie. She is an avid Baylor Bear fan and you can often find her in Waco cheering on her team.