Back to articles

Why pediatricians are important for your child’s health and wellness

News, Kids' Health

Set up your family for a lifetime of wellness.

Routine checkups are important to your child’s health, but it’s easy to put them off when life gets busy. When you make wellness exams a priority, however, the whole family benefits.

“Wellness checkups are so much more than just evaluating the physical health of the child, although that is a significant aspect,” says Luis Diaz, MD, a pediatrician at Adventist Health Clear Lake Medical Office – Clearlake. “These checks help the entire family make healthy

habits for life.”

Here are three reasons to see a pediatrician at least once a year.

Early detection

Spotting developmental delays, chronic conditions and diseases early gives your pediatrician the best chance of intervention and treatment. At well-child visits, providers screen for vision and hearing impairment, congenital heart defects (present at birth), abnormal growth patterns and autism.

“Early intervention is key,” says Liz Osborne, a family nurse practitioner at Adventist Health Clear Lake Medical Office – Lakeport. “For instance, we can detect oral health problems and refer kids to a dentist before they need dental surgery, which no one wants to subject a child to.”


Immunizations are a principal reason to stay up to date with well-child visits.

“The diseases vaccines can prevent are pretty devastating to kids,” Osborne says, “so it’s worth it to see your pediatrician for immunizations.”

Your pediatrician can also advise you on how to help your child avoid diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, through healthy eating, sleep and physical activity.

Family support

“Pediatricians may focus on children’s health, but we’re really caring for the whole family,” Dr. Diaz says, “because healthy parents raise healthy kids.”

That’s why Adventist Health pediatricians practice family-centered care. They offer support for families dealing with violence, substance misuse, parent separation, unemployment, mental health problems and housing instability.

“We offer trauma-informed care and have social workers who can help,” Osborne says. “These make a big difference in a child’s health.”

A parent’s guide to vaccines

Get a guide to childhood immunizations here.