During the first years of his life, the child undergoes reviews related to his health and development, to ensure the normal development of each of them. Here is the following.
The importance of child health and development reviews: know them
Reviews about a child’s health and development may be done in a doctor’s office, an infant health clinic, or a children’s center.
Appointments are arranged so that both parents can attend, and these reviews are an opportunity for both parents to ask their own questions, concerns, and questions.
Personal Child Health Record
Parents are given a Personal Child Health Record (PCHR), at birth, usually called a “red book”. It is a useful method that helps parents to monitor the health and development of the child and is shared with child health professionals.
It’s a good idea to take the Baby Red Book every time you visit the infant clinic, GP, or hospital.
In this book, child health professionals will record the child’s weight and height, vaccinations, and other important health information. Learn more about your child’s vaccinations.
Parents themselves can add information to the Red Book. They may want to record any illness or accident the child has had, and details of any medications the child has taken.
It is helpful for parents to frequently update the Important Developmental Stages section of the Red Book and to fill out relevant questionnaires before each routine review.
What happens in baby reviews
During the child’s reviews, the nurse discusses his development and asks the parents if they have any concerns.
In the event that a child is born prematurely, his developmental age is calculated from the date of his presumed birth, and not from the actual date of birth, until he reaches two years.
The child’s weight is measured periodically, but health professionals avoid frequent weighing the child.
This is due to the difference in the weight gained for infants from one week to another. Leaving a few weeks between weight measurements can give a clearer idea of a child’s development.
What are the child reviews?
The child receives reviews most often at the ages indicated below. If at any other time parents have any concerns, they should contact their health visitor or doctor, or they should go to their local infant clinic.
1- Shortly after birth
A baby’s weight is measured at birth and during the first week of life. A comprehensive examination of the baby is done within 72 hours of birth. A specialist doctor checks the baby’s eyes, heart, hips, and testicles (for boys).
On the fifth to the eighth day of birth, the child undergoes a blood spot test (heel prick), which detects a number of rare diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia. The midwife usually conducts the test.
The baby has a hearing test shortly after birth. If the baby was born there, the test is done before leaving the hospital. Otherwise, this test is done in the first weeks after birth in a hospital hearing center.
The midwife and health visitor will support the mother in breastfeeding, taking care of the baby, and adjusting to her life as a new mother.
2- From one to two weeks
The private health visitor conducts a new review of the baby with the parents within 10 to 14 days of birth. Parents are helped with the issue of parenting and how to maintain the health and safety of their children.
Parents will also receive support for breastfeeding if they need to.
3- From six to eight weeks
The doctor conducts a comprehensive examination of the child. It examines the child’s eyes, heart, hips, and testicles (for boys). It measures its weight, height, and head circumference.
The doctor or nurse discusses the child’s vaccinations with the parents. Where vaccinations are given to the child in the second, third, and fourth months of his first year.
The specialist or nurse also talks to the parents about their emotional health since the birth of the child.
4- From nine months to a year
The health visitor or member of the health team usually conducts another review of the child that looks at many areas, including language and learning, safety, diet, and behavior.
This review is an opportunity for parents to discuss any concerns they may have. Parents may be asked to fill out a short questionnaire to help the health visitor understand how the child is developing.
5- From one to three years
At the age of 13 months, a child is given his next set of vaccinations. The flu vaccine is also given when the child reaches the age of two and three years (it is given as a nasal spray).
The nursery nurse or health visitor performs a further review of the child’s health and development when he reaches the age of two to two and a half years.
This can be done at home, an infant clinic, a children’s center, or at a nursery (if the child attends nursery school).
The nurse or health visitor will prompt parents to talk about their child’s development and help them with any concerns they may have. Parents may be asked to fill out a short questionnaire about the child’s development.
It is better if both parents are present in the reviews of the child. If the child attends an early years service such as nursery school or child care, the review may be linked to a child development examination in this service at the age of two years.
The review includes:
General development, including movement, speech, social skills and behavior, and hearing and sight.
Grow, eat healthily and stay active.
Behavior management and encouragement of good sleep habits.
Brushing teeth and going to the dentist.
Keeping the child safe.
6- From three years onwards
The child is vaccinated again between the ages of three years and four months and three years and six months (this vaccine is sometimes called a “pre-school booster”). They are also vaccinated at four years of age with the flu vaccine.
The school nursing team and school staff help support the health and development of the child when he reaches the appropriate age to go to school, and are keen to help parents provide safe vaccinations.
Appropriate health advice and references for the child.
The school nursing team can also provide advice and support on all aspects of a child’s health and well-being, including emotional and social problems.
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