Health checks for babies and children – A parents guide
“A person is a person no matter how small” – Dr Seus
Welcome to article 2 in this series. Click back to go to article 1.
How do I know that my child is developing appropriately?
Milestones are benchmark achievements that are used to check how your child is developing emotionally, socially and physically. You can track your child’s development prior to each health c
heck by answering the Learn The Signs, Act Early questions found in the blue book. These milestones are also reviewed with your GP at each check. We ask questions across several domains to identify any developmental concerns (social /emotional, cognitive, communication, fine motor/gross motor). A simplified summary of the age specific milestones to look out for are included below.
Remember that children develop at their own pace. Use these milestones as a rough guide only and do not compare. If you feel that your child is not meeting the milestones for their age, act early and share your concerns with your GP directly.
What is involved in a childhood exam?
At each childhood check, your GP will perform a head to toe examination. This includes measuring height, weight and head circumference. The measurements are plotted on growth charts which assist in monitoring development over time. It also allows for comparison of your child’s growth with children of the same age. The examination will also involve checking the skin, head and fontanelles, eyes, mouth, lungs, abdomen, umbilical area, genitalium, hips and reflexes. Some aspects of this examination will become less relevant as your child gets older.
What immunisations will my child need? Are immunisations effective?
Immunisations are the safest and most effective way of protecting your child against transmissible diseases. Hunters Hill Medical Practice provides all childhood immunisations in accordance with the National Immunisation Program (NIP). These vaccinations are given at the time of your child’s health check. A summary of the NIP schedule is as per below or a printable version is available here.
|Birth||✓ Hepatitis B|
|2 Months||✓ Diptheria/Tetanus/Pertussis/Polio/Hib/Hepatitis B
|4 Months||✓ Diptheria/Tetanus/Pertussis/Polio/Hib/Hepatitis B
|6 Months||✓ Diptheria/Tetanus/Pertussis/Polio/Hib/Hepatitis B|
|12 Months||✓ Measles/Mumps/Rubella
✓ Meningococcal A,C,W,Y
|18 Months||✓ Measles/Mumps/Rubella/Varicella (Chicken Pox)
|4 Years||✓ Diptheria/Tetanus/Pertussis/Polio|
If your child has been incompletely vaccinated based on the NIP schedule, a catch up programme can be individualised for you.
There are additional immunisations available to protect your child, which are not included in the NIP (travel vaccinations, influenza vaccinations and the meningococcal B vaccination, also known as Bexsero). These vaccinations are optional and it is a good opportunity to discuss them with your GP at your child’s health check. They will be able to answer any questions that you have and assist you with the decision making process.
Looking after your child’s health at Hunters Hill Medical Practice (HHMP)
At Hunters Hill Medical Practice, Doctors manage all health issues that affect children, from babies and toddlers to young people. Many doctors have completed further post-graduate training in children’s health (Diploma Child Health / Sydney Child Health Program). In addition to performing health checks and immunisations, we confidently deal with a range of paediatric health issues. Common problems we manage include fevers, ear aches, urinary tract infections, eczema and asthma. We also work closely with local paediatricians and are able to refer you to a skillful expert if required.
We look forward to welcoming children of all ages to Hunters Hill Medical Practice whenever the need arises.