Preventative Care

For Preventative Care Details:

Keeping Your Child Healthy

Preventive care:

  • is the foundation of pediatric care
  • helps your kids grow well, avoid health pitfalls, and develop healthy habits.
  • includes “well baby” visits in the first 2 years and annual “well child” check-ups.
  • focuses on growth/development, behavior/mood, screening for common health concerns.
  • Includes routine childhood immunizations against preventable illnesses.
  • Is usually covered by insurance premiums with no “out of pocket” costs for insured families.
  • is a time for you and your kids to ask questions about their health and development – Such as “Is this normal?”

Small Town Pediatrics is there for you with the combined experience of helping thousands of families with questions about their kids as they have grown.

Babies – The first 2 years of life

Because your baby changes so fast in the first 2 years, you will see us a lot from the time your baby comes home until their 2nd birthday.

The Chart below outlines the regular care visits, as well as what to expect.

Baby’s Age Growth & Development What we are doing Immunization Schedule
~2 weeks Weight (Wt), Head circumference (HC), Length (L) Check feeding and growth.  Sleep safety tips.  Check new baby  adjustments. Newborn screen (heel poke)
1 month Wt, HC, L Check feeding, growth and sleep. Offering “core strength” tips.
2 months Wt, HC, L , Informal Development Screen Sleep routine and habits. Checking early arm and hand development skills, and social development. “Baby” series starts:  2-3 “pokes” and 1 oral vaccine
4 months Wt, HC, L, Formal Development Screening Checking social and motor skills. Tips on baby interest in tastes, sleep routines 2-3 “pokes”, 1 oral
6 months Wt, HC, L, Formal Development Screening More development check-in. Tips for baby to sleep ALL night (if not already).  Eating foods. 2-3 “pokes”, 1 oral
9 months Wt, HC, L, Formal Development Screening More on development, mobility and baby safety, and eating.  Sleeping tips, if needed.
12 months Wt, HC, L, Formal Development Screening Walking (running and climbing) safety, Heading off behavior problems, understanding baby communication skills. “Toddler” series starts:  3 “pokes”
15 months Wt, HC, L, Formal Development Screening Communication assessment. Tips on potty training, stranger anxiety and other toddler concerns. Booster for the “baby” series: 3 “pokes”
18 months Wt, HC, L, Formal Development Screening Pretty much like the 15 month visit… 1 “poke” – (booster for Hepatitis A vaccine)

Toddlers and preschoolers – Ages 2-6

One preventative care visit per year focused on:

  • communication skills
  • “coping” and regulating emotion skills
  • addressing delays and challenges
  • healthy habits – eating, sleeping, play
  • school readiness
Important Vaccines

4 year old visit includes:

  • 2 booster shots protecting against 8 diseases including measles, chickenpox, and whooping cough (pertussis).  

Elementary and Middle School Kids Ages 6-13

Learning is the “job” of all children, and they do this naturally.  Your kids are now learning from friends, media, etc. Some of what they learn is helpful, some is not…

Preventative care  visits focus on:

  • healthy habits – sleep diet exercise
  • reducing risks from unhelpful media, peers, pains of growing up
  • monitor growth – we can begin to predict final adult height
Important Vaccines
  • HPV vaccine 2 doses to prevent specific cancers – Age 9-13
  • Booster to prevent whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus – Age 10/11
  • Meningitis vaccine – Age 10

Teens 13 and up.

T hese are the years the kids stop listening to parents and start making their own choices and decisions.  That can be nerve-wracking or at least anxiety-provoking for parents of even the greatest kids.  Many times teens will listen to wise counsel from a trusted adult who doesn’t also happen to live in their home or be related to them.

These years are also the start of their journey to becoming an adult. This can be an especially challenging time for kids with chronic medical and/or emotional health concerns.

Preventative care visits focus on:

  • encouraging healthy habits
  • helping kid recognize risks and harms of some choices
  • equipping kids with knowledge and confidence to make good choices
  • nurturing and encouraging kids to become their own advocate
  • avoiding missteps that can limit future opportunities.

Dr. Mark considers graduation from High School with some plan for the future to be a marker of success in launching kids into their adult lives.

Annual preventative care visits in this age range take more time than for younger kids.  We are routinely asked about risk factors from substance use and other concerns to screening for depression and anxiety.  When we find risk factors, we know how to respond and what resources to bring in.  Just as with preschool kids, early awareness and action before the risks become habits impacting daily life is a more successful strategy than waiting until a crisis.