A New Parent’s Guide to Essential Doctor’s Appointments
There are many things to know as a parent. It can be difficult to keep track of everything! Here are some health-related recommendations for the Early Years.
*COVID-19 caused changes in the delivery of some services, but as communities re-open, it’s time to re-establish healthy routines and habits. Contact each service to see what they are currently offering.
When should my I take my baby to the dentist?
- The Ontario Dental Association recommends babies have their first dental checkup when teeth first come in or by their first birthday. Dentists and dental hygienists also encourage brushing or using a cloth to wipe baby’s teeth and gums after feedings.
- Healthy Smiles Ontario is a free program funded by the Province of Ontario providing dental services for children and youth under 17 years of age. Preventative, routine and emergency care are included.
When is my baby’s first hearing test?
- Ideally, an infant should have their first hearing test in hospital, before discharge after birth as part of the Infant Hearing Program. When this is not possible, families receive a phone call within two weeks of discharge to schedule an appointment. Call 519-663-0273 or 1-877-818-TALK if the two-week time period passes.
When should my baby/child have their vision tested?
- The Ontario Association of Optometrists recommends infants have their eyes examined first at 6 months and then once a year after that. Annual eye exams for children from birth to 19 years of age are covered under OHIP, Ontario’s health care plan.
- Eye See…Eye Learn is a program providing free eyeglasses to students in junior kindergarten with a prescription from a participating optometrist.
How often should my baby go for a well-baby visit and have their weight checked?
- The Dieticians of Canada, the Canadian Pediatric Society and other health experts have established a schedule for growth and development monitoring of children:
- Within one to two weeks after birth and at one, two, four, six. nine, 12, 18 and 24 months, with annual check-ups after that
- At 18 months, your healthcare provider should provide the 18 month enhanced well-baby visit. To prepare for this visit, you complete the 18 month Looksee Checklist yourself. Sign-up for all of the checklists from 1 month to 6 years of age.
- If your child cannot complete a task on any checklist for their age, contact your healthcare provider.
- Well-baby visits also coincide with the Ontario Immunization Schedule. Routine immunizations are one of our most important tools for health.
Questions? Call 519-663-5317 to speak to a Public Health Nurse or consult: www.healthunit.com
Submitted by Heather Bywaters RN PHN
Heather Bywaters RN PHN
Middlesex-London Health Unit
For the Middlesex-London Community Early Years Partnership
Heather Bywaters RN PHN