Each year, Well Child Week promotes the Well Child programme. This year Well Child Week (Feb 29–March 5) celebrates the free visit at 9–12 months of age. At this time assessments of growth, development and an oral health screen occur. Infants at this age are more mobile and keen to explore new things. Parents need to be mindful of the safety concerns relating to their child’s increased mobility. This is one part of keeping young children well.
Being able to pick up items as small as peas and beads increases the choking hazard risk. Rolling, crawling, and using their surroundings to pull themselves to standing and to support unsteady steps increase the area around them that needs to be safe.
The whole community needs to support and encourage families to ensure that all children get the best start in life by enrolling in the programme.
A range of providers deliver the Well Child Programme across the country, including Plunket and local Māori or Pacific providers. Midwifes and family doctors play a vital role in linking families to the right provider when baby is born.
Early enrolment and getting the complete set of checks on time gives children the best start in life, and helps families access other services when needed.