Well-Child/Teen Visit

Content medically reviewed by Jane Rudd, MD

Don’t fall behind on your child’s routine care — regular checkups are important for your child’s physical, emotional and social health and development.

What is a Well-Child Visit?

A well-child visit is one of the best ways to make sure your child is healthy and thriving. Kids bodies grow and change quickly, which is why an annual well-child visit is so important.

At a well-child visit, your pediatrician or primary care doctor will:

  • Perform a physical exam
  • Give the child any necessary shots, such as immunizations or vaccinations
  • Track your child's growth and ask about development and behavior
  • Talk about illness prevention, nutrition and physical fitness, and health and safety issues
  • Talk about how to handle emergencies and sudden illness
  • Discuss any mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression
  • Complete sports physical forms

Health and safety have always been our top priority. Whether we meet virtually or face-to-face, you can be confident Essentia Health continues to do all we can to keep you and your family safe.

Who Should Get a Well-Child/Teen Visit?

Well-child visits are for children ages birth to 21-years-old.

Most children/teens transition by age 18 to a family medicine provider or internist.

Pediatricians will continue to see some to age 21, usually those with special needs, underlying conditions, or chronic disease.

How Often Should My Child See a Doctor?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following schedule for well-child exams:

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations

  • Newborn
  • Two to four weeks
  • Two months
  • Four months
  • Six months
  • Nine months
  • 12 months
  • 15 months
  • 18 months
  • 24 months
  • 30 months
  • 36 months
  • Once every year after the age of three

Regular vision exams can put your child on a healthy path. Learn more about recommended pediatric vision care at Essentia Health.

Are Well-Child/Teen Visits covered by insurance?

Well-child visits are covered by most insurances. Please call your insurance provider if you have coverage concerns.

Top Questions to Ask During a Well-Child Visit

  1. Is my child’s development and growth on track for their age?
  2. What vaccine(s)/immunizations(s) does my child need during this visit? What does it protect against?
  3. Is everything up to date, and may I get a record of my child’s shots?
  4. What infectious diseases are going around and how can I best keep my kids safe from them?
  5. When should I bring my child back?
  6. Ask about any specific concerns you have, like “Why is my child always tired?” or “How can I manage my child’s allergies?” or “Is my child old enough to graduate from a car seat to booster seat?”

It’s also important to ask questions about any sort of treatment that is being prescribed. Parents should understand the diagnosis, how long to give their child the prescribed medicine and what dosage to give. Do not hesitate to ask your provider to clarify instructions.

How to Schedule your Well-Child Visit

Schedule a well-child visit with your pediatrician or family medicine doctor.

Otherwise, if your child does not have a pediatrician or family medicine doctor, you can schedule by calling 844-663-1068, or you can schedule online through EssentiaHealth.org or through your Essentia MyChart account.

Sports Physical

A sports physical exam, also known as a preparticipation physical examination (PPE), helps determine whether it's safe for your child to participate in a certain sport. Most states, including Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin, require that kids and teens have a sports physical before they can start a new sport or begin a new competitive season.

Please note, your sports physical is included as part of your well-child/teen check, and your child should have their physical about 6 weeks before their sports season begins so there's enough time to follow up on something, if necessary.

State Rules

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Monday - Friday: 8 am - 5 pm

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