By: Chasity Caperton, MD, UP Health System – Doctors Park | Pediatric Medicine
Summertime is full of wonderful outdoor activities, weekend getaways, family reunions, and more. Whether you’re planning a road trip, summer sports league, or Saturday barbecue, don’t forget about scheduling your child’s annual check-up! Keep reading to learn why these regular physicals are an essential component of your child’s health, as well as some tips for helping your family stay healthy and safe now and in the future.
Check-in with a Check-up
Annual well-visits with a trusted primary care provider play a key role in your family’s overall health and well-being. These regular check-ups track your child’s growth and developmental milestones and give you a chance to ask your child’s pediatrician any questions you may have. Knowing your family medical history and health risks, your provider can also help you keep track of any potential issues to watch out for.
Keep Immunizations Up-to-Date
Regular check-ups are also a wonderful opportunity to get your child their scheduled vaccinations to prevent illnesses like measles and whooping cough (pertussis) and other serious diseases. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend every child continues to receive recommended vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are a number of simple ways to make getting shots a less stressful process for your child. Talk to your provider about preparing your child for their visit, and review these tips from the CDC.
Make Healthy Habits Fun
Maintaining good habits and routines can go a long way in keeping your family healthy, but creating these habits can sometimes feel like a lot of work. To build excitement about healthy habits, try making them fun! If you have a child who loves a little healthy competition, create a challenge to meet your goals — with a cool prize to work toward. Maybe your child prefers a more team-oriented approach — so get more family and friends involved. Children are always observing the behavior of their role models!
Whether you create a game, competition, or reward system, be creative and tailor the experience to your child’s needs. This will best promote habits like brushing teeth, getting enough sleep, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and keeping tabs on time using screens.
Make the most of the warm weather in the Upper Peninsula by getting together with family and friends to enjoy your favorite activities. Whatever your summer plans, keep up with your family’s regular check-ups for a healthy and happy season.
If your child needs a pediatrician, call 844.411.UPHS (8747) or visit the Find a Doctor tab at www.MGH.org to get them connected to the care they need.