Ensure wellness for your children: get a full health checkup recommendation

Will a health checkup help you in keeping your kids healthy?

Indian children get regular check-up by medical personnel till they are receiving their vaccines, which is up till two years of age, after which a health check up is rarely part of considerations in our care for kids and they even formal growth monitoring is not done, unless the child is sick and land up at a doctor’s clinic.

Once they start going to school, we feel reassured by the limited school health evaluation which they get, consisting often of height, weight, eye and dental check-up.

Indian children have double burden of health risk, on one hand is childhood malnutrition, which leads to growth impairment and nutritional deficiencies and on the other hand childhood obesity and its health risks are also increasing, especially in well to do families, these include childhood prediabetes, deranged lipid profile, high blood pressure etc.

Research has started to show that the beginning of lifestyle risks happens in childhood and health agencies have started to stress on regular health checkup  for children

Another important thing to keep track of is, the developmental milestones; a delay in detecting them can lead to impairment of child’s potential for life

Therefore Indian parents should ensure that their child’s health is periodically monitored beyond dental and eye check up done at school

Below is the comprehensive list of health checks for children

Test/assessment First time when it should be done and frequency of follow-up
Weight and height Birth to 3 years of age :At immunization visits (6,10,14 weeks, six months, nine months and 15-18 months) and six monthly thereafter

No more frequently than a fortnight in children less than six months of age and once a month in older children

4th to 18th year:  at least  six monthly

BMI Calculated annually from 4th  year onwards
Hearing At birth
Vision At 3 years of age
Developmental assessment At nine months, 18 months and 30 months of age, including screening for autism at 18-24 months of age, discuss with your doctor
Oral health At 30 months of age and half yearly or yearly thereafter
Blood pressure From 3 years of age, annually
Urine routine and microscopy From 3-5 years, annually
  • If child is not getting iron supplementation or iron fortified food (baby formula/health drink powder etc.), test should be done at 18-24 months of age or anytime thereafter
  • If the child is getting adequate iron supplementation, testing need not be done
  • Children older than ten years, who are overweight and have one or more additional risk factors :
    • Family history of type 2 diabetes in first- or second-degree relative
    • Maternal history of diabetes or gestational diabetes
    • Small-for-gestational-age at birth
  • If normal, repeat after three years
Lipid profile (Total, LDL, HDL cholesterol and Triglycerides) To be performed at 9-11 years or older age , especially if the child has one or more of following risk factors

  • Parents with premature ischemic heart disease
  • Child has diabetes, high BP or is overweight  (BMI >95th percentile)
Vitamin D
  • Consider testing if the child is not getting fortified food such as health drinks or supplements and sun exposure is inadequate
  • Or add fortified food/ supplements
Vitamin B12
  • Consider testing if the child is not getting enough sunlight and supplements, especially in vegetarians
  • Or add fortified food/ supplements

CHECK OUT: Fod FHI references for children’s health