Essentia Health encourages scheduling well-child teen visits during the summer

May 30, 2024  By: Caitlin Pallai

Health care provider meeting with young child

Summer often includes vacations and other activities, but it can also be a convenient time to schedule a well-child/teen visit without disrupting your child’s education. Well-child/teen visits are a great opportunity to review your child’s health in all areas – growth, cognitive and social development, illness prevention, mental health and more.

“As summer arrives, we encourage parents to schedule their children’s annual pediatric well-child/teen visits,” said Dr. Jonathan KenKnight, an Essentia pediatrician. “These check-ups are essential for monitoring growth, development, mental health, and overall wellbeing.  Regular well-child checks play a crucial role in keeping your kids and teens healthy and thriving.”

Well-child/teen visits are for anyone from birth to age 21 and are recommended annually. During a visit, your pediatrician or primary care provider will:

  • Conduct a comprehensive physical exam.
  • Take measurements like height and weight.
  • Screen for any mental health concerns, such as anxiety and depression.
  • Update all immunizations or vaccinations, including for HPV, meningitis and others.
  • Talk about illness prevention, nutrition, physical fitness and other applicable health-related issues.

When it’s age-appropriate, subjects like substance abuse, proper dieting and sexual health also are discussed at well-child/teen visits.

A sports physical, also known as a preparticipation physical evaluation (PPE), can also be completed as part of a well-child/teen visit. It is recommended that your child have their physical at least six weeks before their sports season begins so there is enough time to follow up on something if necessary.

“Summer is great for scheduling a well-child/teen visit, which can include a sports physical and immunizations,” said Dr. Tanya Diegel, division chair of primary care at Essentia. “Summer can offer greater flexibility and doesn’t require your child to miss school. These visits are an excellent way to ensure your child is healthy and allows us to engage children in their own health and well-being and answer any questions that they and parents have.”

Visit Essentia’s well-child/teen visit page for more information, including a list of the top questions to ask your child’s provider. Many insurance companies cover one well-child/teen visit per year; contact yours to check on coverage.

You can schedule these visits directly through your pediatrician or family medicine provider. You can also schedule by calling (844) 663-1068, online through EssentiaHealth.org or through the Essentia MyChart patient portal.

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