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Protecting Children from Diseases
Posted by Carrie B. Yan on 07/10/2013 12:20 PM

Most parents typically seek the help of a doctor when their child is sick. Experts have found out however, that it is also important to adopt a preventive healthcare strategy by regularly scheduling "well-child visits" to the pediatrician. So, what exactly is a "well-child visit?"

Well-child visits are regular check ups done by a pediatrician when a child or adolescent has no particular illness. Each visit includes a complete physical examination. This will assess the infant or young child's growth and development and help identi1 problems early as well as assess vaccines that are needed or booster doses that are necessary. Height, weight, and other important information are recorded and considered. Hearing, vision, and other tests will be a part of some visits. Such preventive care is important in raising healthy children.

The philosophy of a well-child visit includes the concept of protecting children against diseases, ensuring that immunizations are made available beyond infancy. Well-child visits encourage parents to provide protection even after the usual vaccine schedules are completed in infancy whether these are secured through private practitioners or under the expanded program of immunization (EPI) of the Department of Health. According to Dr. Anna Ong-Lim, a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist, parents should ensure that their children.s vaccinations are up-to-date even w into their teenage years. This is the key to keep them disease-free.

Today's children are exposed to a wide range of highly-communicable diseases such as chicken pox, mumps, measles and rubella. Though these have been around for years and are generally thought of as simple conditions, life-threatening complications can arise from these vaccine-preventable diseases. Children should also be vaccinated against other potentially life-threatening diseases such as influenza, typhoid, Hepatitis A, particularly in the Philippines where environmental conditions make such diseases a threat all year-round.

"Parents should be vigilant when it comes to ensuring the health of their children," says Dr. Ong-Lim. "Even when children look healthy, there may be problems parents cannot immediately see. With a doctor's help, parents can become partners in preventing illness from affecting their children."

Well-child consults are key times for communication, and parents should make the most of these visits by writing down their most important questions and concerns. When done regularly, well-child visits can help parent and doctors detect and address children.s health problems before they arise or become serious. Well- child visits can play an instrumental role in the fight against preventable diseases, so parents should contact their pediatrician and schedule an appointment soon.

TAGS: health, wellness, children, kids, diseases

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