May 23, 2024 // by Maria Bernardez, MD, FAAP

Routine well visits with your pediatrician are so much more than a school or sports requirement.  From infancy and toddlerhood through school age and into adolescence, your pediatrician is here to provide comprehensive care, screen for preventable conditions, discuss concerns, build a safe space with your child, and celebrate their milestones. Dr. Bernardez, from Orange Pediatric Care, shares the importance of well visits and some of the many assessments that pediatricians perform at each age. 


From the moment you bring your baby home from the hospital, they begin to grow and develop rapidly. Whether you're a first-time parent or an experienced one, there are many milestones we evaluate. Frequent well visits during the infant stage are essential for maintaining optimal health and development. Here are some physical and developmental screenings performed during the first year of your child's life. 

  • Height, weight, and head circumference
  • Head shape
  • Developmental screenings
  • Maternal postpartum depression screenings
  • Hearing and vision screenings
  • Heart health
  • Blood testing 
  • Immunization review 

Toddler: (1- 3 years old)

Well visits during this period are crucial for tracking developmental milestones, identifying potential issues early on, and guiding nutrition, safety, and behavioral development. These appointments are not only about physical check-ups and vaccinations but also serve as a platform for parental education and support. Some things we address during your toddler's check-up are: 

  • Growth and weight gain
  • Developmental screenings
  • Hearing and vision screening
  • Anemia and lead screening
  • Vision screening
  • Changing nutrition needs
  • Behavior and tantrums
  • Nighttime sleeping and naps
  • Rashes
  • Toilet training
  • Literacy skills
  • and much more

School Age: (4 - 8 years old) 

As children enter school, annual well visits become instrumental in monitoring physical and emotional well-being. As their daily routine and environments constantly change, there are new and exciting stages to discuss. Some things we address during your child's check-up at this age are: 

  • Growth and weight gain
  • Developmental screenings
  • Hearing and vision screening
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Behavioral concerns
  • School Success
  • Recurrent infections
  • Self-advocacy
  • Nutrition
  • Allergies
  • Bowel health
  • Skincare
  • ADHD and anxiety
  • and more!

Preteen to adult: (Ages 9+)

During the preteen years, well visits take on added significance as adolescents undergo rapid physical, emotional, and social changes. Well visits serve as opportunities for building trust, fostering open communication, and empowering preteens to make informed decisions about their health. In addition to continued monitoring of the areas listed above, your pediatrician will also address:

  • Sleep hygiene
  • Scoliosis screening
  • Cholesterol screening
  • Mental health
  • Sports safety
  • Injury prevention
  • High risk behavior prevention
  • Drug concerns
  • Cancer education
  • Reproductive health and safety
  • Thyroid and lymph node exams
  • Exercised induced asthma
  • BMI and growth monitoring
  • Sports clearance

Well visits serve as important opportunities for your doctor to monitor your childs’s  physical and mental health development. Additionally, these visits foster vital connections between parents, children, and healthcare providers. These connections are especially important during adolescent years, so your child can build a relationship with another trusted adult that will help them navigate their transition into young adulthood. Pediatricians create a collaborative environment where questions are welcomed, concerns are addressed, and together, we ensure your child's health journey stays on course. By actively participating in these visits, you are playing a key role in your child's health and development. If your child is overdue or coming due for a well visit, please call your pediatricians office to schedule an appointment.