Nearly all babies and close to 80 percent of 4-year-olds are taken to a child health clinic at least once a year. Most parents are staunch supporters of this type of health care. Averagely, child health clinics score an 8 on a scale ranging from 0 to 10.
Annual number of visits to child health clinics by age of the child, 1997/2004
Very young more frequently taken to child health clinic
In 1981 85 percent of children in the age category 0-4 had their health checked in a child health clinic at least once a year. In 2004 this was 90 percent. When children grow older, the visits become less frequent. Nearly all children around the age of one visit a child health clinic, for 4-year-olds the visiting rate is almost 80 percent.
Parents or guardians of very young children visit child health clinics more often, some as often as eight times a year, whereas parents of 4-year-olds on average visit a child health clinic only once a year. Parents do not regard a child health clinic as a substitute for their GP. Less than 3 percent once or more postponed a visit to their GP because they had an appointment at a health clinic.
More than one in five children was referred for further medical examination, advice or treatment after a visit to a child health clinic. In nearly one in four cases, the child was referred for hip problems, which are found in girls twice as often as in boys. Hearing and sight disorders also frequently give rise to referral to another health care authority.
Reason for referral by child health clinic, 1997/2004
More than measuring weight and length
Most parents think very positively about child health clinics. Health clinics score between 7 and 9 on a scale running from 0 to 10. Parents think that jabs, physical check-ups and testing children are more important than more passive activities such as diet information or evaluating behavioural and educational problems.
Evaluation of the activities of child health clinics, 1997/2004
No dissimilarity in visiting frequency between the various ethnic groups
The frequency rate of visits to child health clinics hardly varies by ethnic background. Nearly all parents with young children are familiar with the phenomenon of child health clinics. Just about 90 percent of native as well as foreign parents and guardians visit child health clinics.
Visits 0–4 year-olds to health clinics by ethnic background, 1997/2004