Well-child visits: Ages 3-6 years

Developmental screening

Developmental screenings show if your child is learning basic skills on time or if they may have problems. Your child's doctor may ask questions or play with your child to see how he/she learns, behaves and moves. Your doctor will look for milestones like waving goodbye, walking and/or smiling and check for any developmental delays. A developmental delay is when your child is behind other children of the same age. If not caught early, these delays can make it hard for your child to learn when they start school.

A developmental screen is very important at 30 months of age. However, the doctor should also check certain milestones at ages 3-6.

To learn more, visit the CDC website and search for "developmental screening."

Body mass index (BMI) screening

BMI is a screening tool to assess a child's height and weight. This checks how their growth compares with others of the same sex and age. There is no ideal number. Healthy children come in all shapes and sizes. Ideally, each child will follow the same growth pattern over time. Kids who learn to enjoy a variety of foods and regular exercise (play time) will develop a healthy lifestyle.

A BMI screen should be done at each well-child visit. Ask your doctor what your child's percentile is and what it means.

Lead poisoning test

Lead is a poison that can affect every system in your child's body. It's often found in paint chips and dust in older homes, dirt, some dishes, children's jewelry and toys. Lead poisoning doesn't have many symptoms, so it goes unnoticed unless your child is tested for lead. When caught early, lead poisoning is much easier to treat, which is why it's important to get your child tested.

If your child has never had a lead poisoning test, talk to your doctor. To learn more, visit the CDC website.

Health tips

Flu Shots

It's important for a child to get a flu shot each year starting at 6 months of age. To learn more about flu and other vaccines to keep your child healthy, see our Preventive Health Care Guidelines.

Antibiotic use

When your child is sick, you want to do everything you can to help. If your child has been prescribed antibiotics, it's important you follow your doctor's exact instructions for use. Taking too many antibiotics can cause bacteria to become resistant, which means they are stronger and harder to kill. This can eventually lead to severe illness that can’t be cured with antibiotics. Note: Antibiotics can only cure bacterial infections like strep throat. They do not cure colds, runny noses, most coughs or the flu.

To learn more, visit the CDC website or call 800.CDC.INFO.