Well-child visits or check-ups are regular appointments with your child’s healthcare provider to stay up to date on their health, including their physical, social, and emotional development. These visits are an opportunity to ask questions, stay current with vaccinations and medications, and address any potential health concerns early. Well-child visits are typically covered by insurance, including Washington Apple Health (Medicaid). If your child does not currently have insurance, you can learn more and sign up online.
Dental health is a key piece of overall wellness. A healthy mouth and teeth help prevent other health problems, too. Childhood is a crucial time for building good habits like brushing and flossing every day. Even babies need dental care – be sure to get your baby in for a dental appointment by the time they are 1 year old, or when they get their first teeth. Learn more and find resources on our Dental Health page.
COVID-19 vaccination is now available for children ages 5 and older, and vaccines are expected to become available for younger children in the future. Vaccination greatly reduces the likelihood of severe illness from a COVID infection. There is no cost for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Annual flu shots are available for children ages 6 months and older, and are recommended before or during flu season. It’s a good idea to get your flu shot and your child’s flu shot by the end of October.
Hydration is a powerful tool for staying healthy. Water helps your body maintain temperature, process waste, cushion joints, and protect sensitive tissues. More water is needed when you’re physically active or when the weather is hot, but drinking plenty of water is important every day, regardless of your level of activity or the weather. Plain water is best, and sugary beverages like soda or energy drinks should be avoided or limited. Make sure children drink whenever they are thirsty, before and after physical activity, and around mealtimes. Learn more healthy tips from the 5210 Campaign.
Fruits and vegetables are great sources of the vitamins and nutrients children need to grow and thrive. Looking for a good, healthy challenge? Try eating the rainbow! Find fruits and vegetables in every color to eat throughout the week. A mix of healthy food - fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, lean meat - can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and other long-term medical complications. Get some seasonal recipe ideas on our Fuel Facts page.
Keeping kids healthy includes their physical wellbeing through exercise, healthy diet, regular check-ups, vaccinations, and medications as needed. It also includes their mental and emotional wellbeing. Children of all ages can experience intense emotions, stress, and trauma. Don’t dismiss a young person’s mental health needs as trivial or temporary. Learn more about mental health and the impacts of adverse childhood experiences on our Trauma & Resilience page.
Remember Safe Sleep ABCs to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Baby should sleep:
No loose blankets, pillows, crib bumpers or soft objects in the sleep area. Do share a room with baby for six months or longer, but don’t share a bed.
Products that may seem good for sleeping babies can be dangerous. Check www.cpsc.gov/Recalls and sort by the “Babies and Kids” category to see recalls. Even if the product has not been recalled, never leave a baby unattended in an inclined sleeper or lounger.