As back to school season approaches and you and your family fall into a routine around drop offs and pickups, school sports, and homework, make sure to schedule your children's’ well child visits with their pediatrician. Dr. Jonathan Lee, Pediatrician at Palouse Pediatrics, a member of the Pullman Regional Hospital Clinic Network, wants parents to make well child visits an important annual appointment.
Dr. Lee emphasizes that “well child visits are a central part of how we work together with your family to keep your child healthy!” It’s not enough to only seek pediatric assistance when your child is sick or injured, it’s important to routinely have them evaluated, so pediatricians can “help anticipate needs and make sure there aren’t any unexpected issues with their growth or development.” Pediatricians know what’s normal and what’s challenging for children at each age and stage of development- physically, mentally, and emotionally and can provide guidance, support, and suggestions along the way.
Dr. Lee received training at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where he took care of the sickest children in the region from Alaska to Washington to Montana. This experience taught him how valuable a trustworthy relationship with a doctor is. Dr. Lee wants families to know that “solving complex health needs starts with reliable well child checkups.”
At a well child visit, the pediatrician will assess your child and make sure they’re meeting their milestones, as well as do a detailed review of their health history. For example, for a one year old, that might mean seeing how many words they can say and if they’ve taken their first step. For a teenager, that might mean they’ll talk about school and confidentially address mental health and pressures around substance abuse. “We always check to make sure that all shots are up-to-date and do a complete physical exam,” notes Dr. Lee. In addition, they’ll also address any safety concerns and any questions that the child or parent has. While a well child visit’s content will change with the child’s age, it remains an important step in your child’s health journey.
Well child visits also help children build trusting relationships with medical professionals. Dr. Lee sees this as a valuable component of regularly seeing a doctor, as it creates a safe place to bring up concerns and ask questions. “As your child gets older, they become more aware of and responsible for their own body. Through puberty, changes are even more rapid and might even be scary. We want your child to know there’s always a doctor walking beside them to help with those things. It also ensures they’ll be prepared for both the normal and the unexpected,” notes Dr. Lee.
Need another reason to regularly visit your pediatrician? They love getting to know your children and family! One of Dr. Lee’s favorite parts of his job (and what he considers the greatest privilege of his work) is meeting a family with a new baby and being able to take care of that child from infancy until adulthood. Dr. Lee says that “Seeing your kids at least once a year helps us to connect and make sure they are growing perfectly. With the pandemic, we’re also taking lots of extra measures to make sure that your visit is safe from beginning to end. We’re excited to see your child again at their next checkup!”
As your children settle into another school year and your family settles into a routine, make sure to prioritize time for a well child checkup for each one of your children. If you’re seeking pediatric care, Palouse Pediatrics is here for you in both Pullman and Moscow. Well child visits, immunizations, urgent care, laboratory services, and an on-call pediatrician available 24/7 mean comprehensive, round-the-clock care for your little ones. Learn more about the practice and meet the team members, including Dr. Lee on the Palouse Pediatrics webpage.