Health insurance allows parents to take their child to the doctor not just when a child is very ill, but all through the child's different growth stages. It also allows parents to develop a relationship with a doctor who can provide important health and parenting advice.
Children who have health insurance are less likely to:
- Visit emergency rooms for routine healthcare
- Delay needed medical care when they are sick or injured
- Miss school
- Fall behind in school and perform below grade level
How often you take your child to the doctor has a
lot to do with his or her age. Doctors often like to
see young babies monthly and older babies every two
to three months. The pediatrician should see older
children and teens once a year. Next time you
see your pediatrician ask him/her how often you
should bring your child in for a check-up.
Immunizations are another reason to take your child to the doctor.
Immunizations protect your child from dangerous
diseases like Polio, Meningitis, Measles, Tetanus
and Chicken Pox. These diseases can make your baby
very ill. Ask your doctor about the
immunizations your child should receive.
It is important that children visit a doctor on a regular basis because children, especially those 5 years and younger, change and develop very quickly. These visits allow the doctor to check the baby's weight, reflexes, hearing and vision to ensure that baby is developing appropriately. There are questions, problems and risks that can take place during each growth period that only a doctor can address. The advice given to parents of a 3-month-old will be quite different from the advice given for a 3-year-old, which is still different from the advice given for a 13-year-old. During these visits, doctors will discuss development, nutrition and behavior. They will also talk to you about what to expect, and things to watch out for, in the weeks and months following your visit so you can become informed and involved in your child's health.
It is also important that your child begin visits to a dentist starting at one year of age and that he or she receive a vision check-up prior to starting school. These preventive measures can protect your child from more serious problems later on.
There are different government-assisted insurance programs that your family might qualify for. By using the resources below, you can find out which program is the right one for your children and get help with enrolling.