What are "Well Exams"?
Well exams include standard routine physical exams that are performed when your children are usually healthy. We recommend routine physical exams at regular intervals as indicated, in the chart below. Required exams for school entry include, yearly exams for most daycare facilities and preschools, entry into kindergarten, fifth grade, high school, and college. Please note that we recommend yearly exams past the age of 3 extending all the way to age 21, for all children and young adults, even though an exam may not be required at that time for school entry. Also, keep in mind that most camps or sport programs will require a physical exam within that year.
During well exams, the physicians focus on several areas that include nutrition and diet assessment, overall developmental assessment, a complete physical exam from head to toes, and any specific concerns of the child or parents. The physicians/nurse practitioners will also offer timely advice on other important issues such as, vaccine information, accident prevention tips, and behavioral counseling. For grade school children, school issues are also discussed. It should be readily apparent that these exams encompass many important aspects of your child's life, especially during the school years, and should be scheduled on a yearly basis.
Scheduling Well Exams
Well exam appointments are scheduled separately from sick appointments, because it is difficult to cover all the important aspects of a well exam while also attending to the needs of a sick child. You should schedule your well exams in advance of any school, camp, or sports deadlines. Our office can get very busy and our schedule can book up, especially during July and August, and it may be difficult to accommodate everyone without adequate advance scheduling. The best scheduling method is to plan an exam annually around the child's birthday, preferably between Sept. and June. For exams in Sept. through May, please try to schedule one month in advance. For exams in June, July, or August, please allow at least two months advance scheduling, if possible.
For Saturday morning exams, after school exams, or exams during evening hours, please try to schedule 2-3 months in advance. These appointment times are in greatest demand.
Preparing for Well Exams
All children age 4 years and over should have a urine screening test done. For some insurance plans, we may need to direct you to an outside lab for your tests. Routine urine screening is provided at select visits.
Most well exams will involve a blood test (hemoglobin) for anemia.
Vaccines are administered at most visits in the first two years of life and then at select visits thereafter. For children between the ages of 3-11, try to be fun and upbeat when talking to your children about the exam. For younger children, playing doctor games and toy doctor/nurse kits can be helpful. Don’t emphasize the negatives, such as shots or tests. The less said about the negatives, the better. For kids who are very nervous about shots, you can wait until the well visit to discuss the shot.
Schedule of Well Exams, Vaccines, & Tests
|Office Exams||Vaccines and Tests|
|Newborn Hospital Visit||Routine exam, Newborn Screen, Hep B #1 in hospital|
|Age 3-7 days:||Office Exam|
|Age 1 month:||Office Exam, Hep B #2|
|Age 2 months:||Office Exam, DTaP #1, IPV #1, Hib #1, PCV #1, Rota #1|
|Age 4 months:||Office Exam, DTaP #2, IPV #2, Hib #2, PCV #2, Rota #2|
|Age 6 months:||Office Exam, DTaP #3, Hib #3, PCV #3, Rota #3, Influenza**|
|Age 9 months:||Office Exam, Hep B #3, Hgb test, Lead Questionaire|
|Age 12 months:*||Office Exam, MMR #1, Varivax(Ch. Pox) #1, Hep A #1|
|Age 16 months:||Office Exam, DTaP #4, IPV #3, Hib #4, PCV #4|
|Age 20 months:||Office Exam, Hep A #2|
|Age 2 years:||Office Exam, Hgb test|
|Age 2 1/2 years:||Office Exam|
|Age 3 years:||Office Exam, Hgb test, TB test|
|Age 4 years:*||Office Exam, DTaP #5, IPV #4, MMR #2, Varivax #2, Hgb test|
|Age 5 years:||Office Exam, Finish kindergarten vaccines, Hgb Test, Urine Test|
|Age 6-8 years:||Office Exam, Hgb Test|
|Age 9 years:||Office Exam, Hgb test, Chol screening|
|Age 10 years:||Office Exam, Hgb Test|
|Age 11 years:*||Office Exam, Tdap, Men ACYW #1, HPV #1 (HPV #2, six months later), Hgb Test, Urine test|
|Age 12-13 years:||Office Exam|
|Age 14 years:||Office Exam, TB test, Hgb Test|
|Age 15 years:||Office Exam|
|Age 16-17 years:||Office Exam, Men ACYW #2, Men B #1
(Men B #2 six months later), Hb test, Urine test
|Age 18 years:||Office Exam, Hgb Test, TB test|
|Age 19-21 years:||Office Exam, Hgb test, Td vaccine booster every 10 years|
*Please note that the 12 month, 4 year and 11 year exams should be scheduled on or after the birthdate due to vaccine recommendations
**Influenza vaccine advised yearly at all ages 6 months and older, typically September through January