Health screening recommendations for kids

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Regular pediatrician check-ups are not only essential for physical evaluations, but also for the recommended screenings and vaccinations children need throughout their various stages of growth and development.

From birth to two years of age, pediatrician visits are more frequent as this is a critical period of development and when several recommended screenings and vaccinations need to be administered. Hearing, vision, developmental and behavioral screenings usually begin at 6-9 months of age. Children are usually screened for autism between 18 and 24 months. At three years of age and after, if otherwise healthy, children should have yearly visits.

There are several vaccines required by most states before children are able to start school, including measles, chicken pox, polio and DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus vaccine). At age 11, kids must get a pertussis booster, known as the TDaP vaccine. Along with TDaP, it is also recommended for kids (age 11-12) to get their first meningococcal vaccination, which protects against a dangerous bacteria that spreads in groups.

Once children reach adolescence, most primary care and pediatrician practices will begin to screen for blood pressure levels, anemia, underlying behavioral issues and sexually transmitted infections. Adolescents who are at high risk may also be screened for conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol. Yearly physical exams and vaccinations not only protect the health of your child, but also the health of others around them. Our area is fortunate as Cone Health has an exceptional network of pediatricians and related healthcare providers dedicated to caring for children throughout the community.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Chris Miller is a pediatrician at Greensboro Pediatricians and is a member of the Cone Health Medical Staff. Dr. Miller received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine in 1998. He completed his residency at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh in 2001, and has been serving the Greensboro area for the past 14 years.