Being a parent or caregiver can be exciting, but it isn’t always easy. Staying on track with your child’s well-visits, immunizations, and screenings can be challenging. UPMC Health Plan provides tools and resources that can help. We partner with you to make sure your children get a great start and grow up happy and healthy!
Taking children for well-visits is important for maintaining their health, evaluating your child’s developmental milestones, and building good overall health habits. During a well-child visit, the health care provider will:
- Do a head-to-toe exam.
- Provide any needed immunizations.1
- Check your child’s development.
- Perform needed screenings.
- Check for vision, hearing, and dental problems.
- Answer any questions you may have.
Well-child visits are also an opportunity to develop a long-lasting and strong relationship with your child’s health care provider. Children should have regular well-visits based on their age.2 Learn more about what to expect at each of your child’s well-visits.
Immunizations (vaccines) can help protect your child from potentially life-threatening diseases. After getting approval from several expert groups, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following immunization or vaccine schedules:
Get immunizations scheduled
Call your child’s health care provider to talk about which immunizations your child may need to stay healthy.
Podcast: What you need to know about childhood immunizations
Dr. Johanna Vidal-Phelan, practicing pediatrician and chief medical officer in the Quality Department at UPMC Health Plan, takes a Health Break to discuss why vaccines are important at every stage of childhood.
Teach the child in your life about vaccines with our Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood audio story
Immunizations or vaccines are a key part of keeping children as healthy as possible. Many children may be scared of getting vaccinated. We can help! We're proud to partner with Fred Rogers Productions to offer a free audio story in which Daniel Tiger talks about his efforts to be brave as he prepares to get a shot. The story is great for children who are 5 years old and younger. You can listen to it together before your child gets a well-visit immunization, flu shot, or COVID-19 vaccine or booster.
How to access the Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood audio story
You can listen to our four-minute story using your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device. Just say, "Ask UPMC Health Plan for a Daniel Tiger story."
Lead screening test
A lead screening test will determine if your child is exposed to lead. Your child may have no symptoms in the early stages of lead exposure. Increased exposure can lead to lasting issues, including:7
- Damage to the brain and nervous system.
- Slowed growth and development.
- Learning and behavior problems.
- Hearing and speech problems.
The first step to protecting your child is to get your child tested for lead exposure.
If your child is 9-12 months old or 24 months old, ask your doctor to do a lead test. There is no cost for the lead test.
A lead test may be completed in the health care provider's office or at a lab. A small blood sample will be taken and tested for lead. A blood test can be unpleasant, but protecting your child from long-term lead poisoning effects is important. If there is an elevated level of lead, your provider will help coordinate follow-up care. Our care management team is also available to support you and your child.
Schedule this important test
Talk to your child’s provider about getting this important test. This test will only take a few minutes. You can help protect your child's future by getting the lead test completed. If you need to find a provider for a lead test, immunizations, or a well-child visit, you can search for doctors in your network.
Possible sources of lead exposure
According to the CDC, your child may be exposed to lead in a number of ways, including through:
- Lead paint, which may be found in homes built before 1978, is common in many cities and towns throughout Pennsylvania and other states.
- Lead pipes may exist in certain areas resulting in lead in the water that runs through them.
- Soil and household dust.
- Glazes used in pottery and/or imported dishware.
- Certain toys that were made overseas.
Learn more about how you can protect your family from sources of lead and lead poisoning in your children.
- Coverage is provided for pediatric immunizations (except those required for employment or travel), including immunizing agents that conform to the standards of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the CDC. Pediatric and adult immunization ACIP schedules can be found at cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules.
- Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine, Bright Futures Periodicity Schedule Working Group (2016). 2016 recommendations for preventive pediatric health care. Pediatrics, 137(1). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2015-3908. Accessed Dec. 7, 2015.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2022 recommended immunizations for children from birth through 6 years old. Updated February 2022. Accessed April 11, 2022. cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/parent-ver-sch-0-6yrs.pdf
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Child and adolescent immunization schedule:
Recommendations for ages 18 years or younger, United States, 2022. Reviewed: Feb. 17, 2022. Accessed April 11, 2022. cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cancers caused by HPV. Reviewed Feb. 28, 2022. Accessed April 11, 2022. cdc.gov/hpv/parents/cancer.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HPV vaccination recommendations. Reviewed Nov. 16, 2021. Accessed April 11, 2022. cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/hpv/hcp/recommendations.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lead poisoning prevention. Reviewed Jan. 13, 2022. Accessed April 11, 2022. cdc.gov/nceh/lead/prevention/default.htm