The first responsibility that comes with having a child is making sure they are healthy.
Since children often find it hard to express any changes they might be experiencing in their bodies, it is the parents’ responsibility to organise health checkups for them.  And it is possible for your child to be predisposed to certain illnesses or diseases. These can be either physical or psychological, and both require equal amounts of attention.

So here are 5 essential health checkups that you should schedule for your kids.


Eye checkups

Childhood eye problems are extremely important to detect and treat early since unhealthy eyes can affect a child both academically and socially. Eye problems can be genetically inherited or developed over time if your child is exposed to mobile or computer screens for long periods.

A visit to the optometrist will let you know early on whether your child has any eye defects. An optometrist provides primary vision care, in that they examine, diagnose, and treat eye ailments.

Some of these conditions can be temporarily treated with spectacles while others require surgery. If your child needs surgery, you might want to contact an ophthalmologist. 

An ophthalmologist has more than eight years of additional medical training and has the licence to provide medical and surgical treatments for eye conditions. Understanding the difference between an optometrist and ophthalmologist is important, so make sure to do your research before taking your child to either professional. 


Oral health care

Oral checkups are just as important as eye checkups since cavities are very common in children. If left untreated, they can lead to infections, which make it painful for your child to eat, speak, play, or focus on learning. This is why it is important to schedule monthly visits to the dentist

Keep in mind that certain risk factors make dental checkups even more important. For example, your child has a higher risk of developing cavities if they eat and drink a lot of sugary food and drinks. 

Having misaligned teeth also causes cavities to develop, since it is hard to brush or floss them properly. In case your child has misaligned teeth, they might also struggle with chewing properly which will lead to further problems like jaw pain and muscle stiffness in that area.

A dental checkup will prove to be beneficial in this case as your child will be made to wear braces that will realign their teeth. This, in turn, will help avoid gum disease and tooth decay in the future.


Hearing tests

Despite serious hearing problems being rare in early childhood, hearing check ups will ensure that any problems are found early on and managed accordingly. An early diagnosis will also let you know if you need to get access to any special support services for your child.

There are many factors that can lead to hearing loss in a child. These include going through an illness — such as meningitis, chicken pox, the flu, or measles — injuries to the head, or exposure to loud noise. 

Hearing checkups are usually conducted from birth to the minimum age of five. In these checkups, the doctor will use different sounds as stimuli and note down your child’s responses to them. 

There are many different types of hearing tests that can be used, namely visual reinforcement audiometry, play audiometry, pure tone audiometry, bone conduction test and tympanometry (a test to assess the flexibility of the eardrum).

Remember, if hearing problems are left untreated, your child can face difficulty with learning and socialising. 


Metabolic screening

There are certain metabolic diseases that can significantly reduce the quality of your child’s life (and sometimes even cause death). 

Luckily, many diseases — like phenylketonuria — can be treated by simply making dietary changes to your child’s food intake to ensure that they live a normal and healthy life. But if ignored, these diseases can cause significant disability down the line.

A metabolic screening panel will ensure that your child receives an early diagnosis and the treatment can be started early. 

If you or your partner are aware of any metabolic diseases you might have, it is your duty as a responsible parent to find out if your child might have inherited any from you. And metabolic screening can help let you know if that’s the case. 


Mental health screening

There is a stigma attached to mental illnesses and disorders that makes people uncomfortable when discussing it, especially if it is about a family member. However, mental health conditions can prove to be extremely harmful in the long run if not treated early on. Therefore, psychological checkups are as important as physical checkups for your child.

Children born to parents who suffer from mental illnesses are more susceptible to developing one. If that’s the case with you, it is important to be on the lookout for any psychological symptoms your child might display. That’s because the sooner they are diagnosed, the sooner you, as a parent, can start helping them.

Mental health screening assessments help look for multiple conditions such as anxiety disorders, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 



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