Preventative Visits

Wellness Check Ups

Understanding Wellness Check Ups

Preventative visits, also called wellness check ups,  are key to helping keep your child healthy and ensuring that they are developmentally on track. Your child will need wellness checkups at ages: 2 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 15 months, 18 months, 2 years, 2 1/2 years, 3 years, 4 years and 5 years.

During these checkups, your health care provider will:

  • Assess your child’s physical and emotional development
  • Provide guidance
  • Give immunizations (shots)
  • Do any needed tests

This is also a great time to talk with your health care provider about concerns or questions you have about your child’s development (physical, mental or social).

If your child does not reach a certain milestone for his or her age, don’t worry. Your health care provider can help you recognize signs if you think your child may have a developmental delay.

For any concerns or questions in between well checkups, please call our office. For an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.

Importance of Wellness Check Ups

The benefits of wellness check ups include:

  • Tracking your child’s growth and development.

    Your health care provider will review your child’s growth since the last visit and talk with you about your child’s development. These preventative visits are a time to review and discuss each of the important areas of your child’s development: physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development.

  • Provides an opportunity to talk about injury prevention.

    The most common cause of harm for children in the United States is a preventable injury or illness. Well-child visits provide an opportunity to review critical strategies to protect your child from injuries, specifically by reviewing car seat use and safe firearm storage.

  • Ensures your child is protected from infectious diseases by reviewing and updating his or her immunizations.

    If there is a family history of a specific illness, parents can discuss strategies to help prevent that illness in their child. Healthy behaviors are important to instill at a young age. Therefore, the well-child visit is also a time to review these important behaviors, including sleep, nutrition, and physical activity.

What Happens During Wellness Check Ups

During a wellness check up, your doctor will:

  • Perform a physical exam
  • Give any necessary shots (immunizations or vaccinations)
  • Track how your child is growing and developing
  • Discuss illness prevention, diet and physical fitness, and health and safety issues
  • Talk about how to handle emergencies and sudden illness

Make sure your doctor isn’t doing all of the talking. Wellness visits give you the best opportunity to bring up any worries about your child’s growth and development. Especially if you are concerned your child is not reaching important milestones. Remember, your doctor may be an expert in children’s health, but you are the expert on your child.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions, medical or otherwise. Our providers can give you valuable advice on how to promote your child’s learning and development, how to potty train, tips on playground safety, and more.

Routine Physical Exam

Understanding Routine Physical Exam

Preventative visits give you a better understanding of your current health. A routine physical exam tells if you are at risk of developing conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Preventative visits also help prevent injuries by finding issues early, so that they can be treated quickly to stop further damage. Also, routine physical exams provide an opportunity to receive immunizations that keep you from catching certain diseases.

What Happens During a Routine Physical Exam

During a routine physical exam, your doctor will:

  • Have you give a complete medical history (family history, any current or previous illnesses, emotional health, etc)
  • Check your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, etc.)
  • Make sure your organs are functioning correctly
  • Examine you for any notable physical issues
  • May order blood tests or other tests, such as X-rays, if needed
  • Give immunizations if it is time for them or if they believe you need them
  • Address any specific medical concerns you have

Common Tests Include:

  • Weight/height
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol blood test
  • Diabetes screening
  • Depression screening


Understanding Immunizations

Immunization is one of the best ways parents can protect their infants from 14 serious childhood diseases. With this in mind, vaccinate your child according to the CDC’s recommended immunization schedule for safe, proven disease protection.

Diseases that vaccines prevent can be very serious—even deadly—especially for infants and young children. Vaccines reduce your child’s risk of infection by working with their body’s natural defenses to help them safely develop immunity to the disease. Immunizations have helped improve the health of children in the United States. Most parents today have never seen the devastating consequences that vaccine-preventable diseases can have on a family or community. Although most of these diseases are not common in the United States anymore, they still exist around the world. Therefore, protecting your child with vaccines is vital.

Reasons to Get Immunizations

Immunizations protect you and your child from dangerous diseases. They also reduce the spread of disease to others. In addition, immunizations are often needed for entrance into school or daycare, may be needed for employment, or traveling to another country.

Because proof of immunization is often a prerequisite for enrollment in school or day care, it’s important to keep your children up to date on their vaccines. Doing so ensures that your children will be protected from diseases that could cause them serious health problems.

Recommended immunizations for children 0-6 years of age include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Rotavirus
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • Pneumococcal
  • Poliovirus
  • Influenza
  • Measles, mumps, rubella
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Meningococcal (for certain high-risk groups)

At one time, each of the diseases addressed by these vaccines posed a serious health threat to people. Subsequently, these diseases took lives by the thousands. Today, most of these diseases are at their lowest levels in decades, thanks to immunizations.

It’s important to keep your immunizations on schedule and up to date. However, if you miss a scheduled dose you can “catch up” later.

Risk Factors of Not Getting Immunizations

The threat of death by disease isn’t the only medical consequence of skipping vaccinations.

Require Different Medical Treatment

An unvaccinated child faces lifelong differences that could potentially put him or her at risk. Every time you call 911, ride in an ambulance, go to the doctor or visit the hospital emergency room, you must alert medical personnel of your child’s vaccination status.  So that he or she receives distinctive treatment. Because unvaccinated children can require treatment that is out of the ordinary, medical staff may be less familiar and less experienced with the procedures required to appropriately treat your child.

Pregnancy Complications

Women who are pregnant but not vaccinated can be vulnerable to diseases that may complicate their pregnancy. A pregnant woman who contracts rubella in the first trimester may have a baby with congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). CRS can cause heart defects, developmental delays and deafness.

Putting Others at Risk

People who choose not to vaccinate their children also put others at risk. Certain groups of people cannot be vaccinated, including those with compromised immune systems. These people rely on the general public being vaccinated to reduce their risk of being exposed to these diseases.

PAP Smears

Understanding Pap Smears

Used for screening, a Pap Smear is a tests for cervical cancer in women. During a Pap smear your women’s health provider collects cells from your cervix and sends them to a lab to be tested for abnormalities that could indicate the possibility of cancer developing in the future.

Healthcare providers recommend that every woman begins having  pap smears by the age of 21. Typically, providers recommend having a Pap smear every three to five years, but if you have certain risk factors your health care provider may schedule more frequent testing.

For any concerns or questions in between well checkups, please call our office. For an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.

What to Expect During a Pap Smear

While Pap smears can be somewhat uncomfortable, the test itself is very fast.

You lay on your back on an examination table while your health care provider inserts a speculum into your vagina to allow access to your cervix. Your healthcare provider then removes a sample of cells from your cervix to be sent off for testing.

You may feel some discomfort or cramping along with some light bleeding following your Pap smear. However, if you continue to have pain or bleeding following your test, be sure to let your healthcare provider know.

Insurances We Accept

If your insurance is not listed, please give us a call.

  • BlueCross BlueShield
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • United Healthcare
  • Tricare
  • Medicare
  • TennCare

Time for Your Annual Physical?

Magnolia Family Medicine & Wellness is committed to help you live your healthiest life, and the first step is knowing what’s going on with your body.

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