Your Baby's 9-month Checkup

Your baby’s healthcare provider will want to see him or her for a checkup at 9 months to see how everything is going physically and developmentally. Your infant may or may not need vaccines for certain diseases during this visit, depending on the dosage schedule the doctor follows.

During this appointment, the doctor or nurse may draw some of your baby’s blood to screen for anemia and lead exposure:

  • Anemia is a condition that occurs when the level of healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the rest of the body, becomes too low. An iron or vitamin deficiency, infection, or exposure to a drug or toxin can all cause anemia. Symptoms include fatigue, irritability, lightheadedness and a fast heartbeat. In babies, anemia caused by iron deficiency can lead to developmental delays and problems with social interaction and attention.

    If your baby has iron deficiency anemia, the doctor may prescribe medicine to help replenish iron in the body.
  • A lead test measures the amount of lead, a metal found in the environment and many products, in the blood. While most people have a little lead in their blood from exposure to the metal, higher levels in the blood can cause learning disabilities, behavior problems and anemia in children. Very high levels can even lead to seizures or a coma.

    Children who live in older homes or older communities (where lead paint was used) are at risk for high lead levels

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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