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do your kids go to dr. for annual check-ups?


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why or why not?

 

Mine always have, but I find them a complete waste of time. I can see how much my kids are eating and growing. I can see their clothing sizes change. To have their hearts listened to, neck and stomach felt, bend and touch the floor, check eyes, throat and ears........ hoenstly, it's never produced anything other than showing where my kids are on the growth chart.

 

I cancelled my youngest's annual in August and never rescheduled. I'm finding it hard to get myself to bring her in. What's the point? My boys need their annuals so they can go to school (oldest will be in college next year) but I'm considering not taking the girls anymore. They are forced to show an area that embarrasses them, and since *I* know it's fine there (no abuse) I'm thinking, why put them through that?

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Like WendyK, we very rarely have to see the doctor for a sick visit. I take them in for their checkups, vaccinations as needed, for the health record, and to keep an ongoing relationship with their doctor. Since they are so seldom sick I feel we should at least have them looked at once a year or once every two years. I also do eye exams every year and dental exams twice a year.

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We are still at the annual visits for vaccinations stage, and once we are past that we will need to show evidence of exams for homeschool reporting. I don't see the annuals as a big deal, and I don't always have them done right on time. I usually take the opportunity to ask any questions I may have and get the vision and hearing screenings done. I have noticed that our current pediatrician only seems to check the private areas while the kids are still in diapers. I only noticed this year after ds's check-up (his first year fully trained), and then realized they have never examined dd in that area, and we started with that practice after she was trained. So I really don't know that that part of the exam is necessary if your girls are uncomfortable with it.

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I also kind of have it in the back of my mind if anyone ever wanted proof that I do address the health of my kids then I can say I took them for a yearly physical. As a homeschooler I worry people think I'm trying to hide my kids from the world or something (crazy, but some people assume stuff like that.) I rarely take them to the doctor. In the past four years, except for the physicals I had no reason to bring them. I don't call for colds. I don't call for fevers. They have no chronic conditions.

 

As much as I hate it, this is a big reason why we do it.

 

We had a disgruntled relative call 911 on us several years back to report that my husband was abusing us. It never went anywhere because the cops could clearly see that there was not a single sign of abuse.

 

But, a "paper trail" could be so helpful in a case like that. Regular exams performed by a mandatory reporter could easily put an accusation to rest.

 

In addition, my pediatrician requires annual check-ups to remain with his practice. I don't like it but he's the only ped I could find in my area who respects my vaccination outlook.

 

I do hate taking my little guy in for a well check, though. I am 100% guaranteed he will come down with something significant within 2-3 days of visiting the doctor!:glare:

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Do your girls have a female pediatrician, and would this help at all?

 

I do it mostly as a CYA kind of thing. No, the pediatrician has never caught anything I wasn't aware of, but I do know of two kids who had heart murmurs that were found at well-child check-ups. I also, as a homeschooler, like having records and a character reference to fall back on. Another thing to consider is that many doctors will drop you as a patient if you haven't seen them at regular intervals, and then if you do get sick, you will not have a doctor. I almost never have sick visits, so we need the well-child visits to stay on as patients.

 

My pediatrician is wonderful, so I am lucky, I guess. She also has the girls only come in every other year now.

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I have no problem brining my kids in for well visits. It's an objective 3rd set of eyes that is trained to see anything I might miss. Well baby visits do occasionally catch things mom and dad might have missed, mostly because the changes may have been very gradual, while if the doctor only sees them every X months or annually it's a drastic change to them.

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I do, though on my schedule, not necessarily on the doctor's. My ped sees the kids once a year or so. We do delayed vaccs and he's been most accommodating in that regard.

 

One of the big reasons I have the kids seen regularly is that my ped caught my nephew's thyroid cancer when he was 7 or 8. (He's now 18 and doing great!) I don't believe there is a genetic link for thyroid cancer, but I like knowing that my ped saw some very subtle symptoms in my nephew, recognized them as possibly serious, and insisted that my bil/sil take my nephew for further evaluation.

 

Also important to me is that my ped knows my kids. So, if I call him up with a concern, he takes that concern seriously. Now, of course, all docs should take pt's concerns seriously; I've just noticed (and appreciated) that he recognizes "normal" in my crew and immediately can spot "abnormal" even during a simple check up.

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I love our pediatrician! I went through several (and several at the same practice) till I found one I like.

 

For a $30 copay it is worth it for me to take my kids for a checkup.

 

My son has an elevated cholestrol level and needs to be tested yearly. I need to get a referral from pediatrician.

 

My daughter needed to see dermatologist and I needed referral.

 

When my daughter broke her elbow and I needed a pediatriac surgeon immediately it was nice to be able to call the pediatrician I had a relationship with and get a recommendation.

 

My doctor does not force to you vaccinate. You can do them on your own timetable or not at all.

 

She happily discusses homeschooling with me and my kids.

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I'd see about getting a dr who makes your daughters' appts more comfortable, and consider at least doing them every once in a while.

 

I stopped going for a while after all I heard about is my children's weight (too low), and I was rather furious when it came out that the doctors had missed something big with one child, while focusing extensively on things like their diet, sleeping arrangements, what sort of home I live in (apartment or house), whether there are guns/smokers in the house, etc. It felt too much like I was being evaluated rather than being given a report on my children's health. I like the office much better since the racist nurse mysteriously disappeared; I've been spared a lot of really weird comments.

 

If your kids are sick every once in a while, then you are seen at the dr's office. If it's been 5 yrs since you were seen, then, yes, you may want to reestablish contact so they know who you all are.

 

I also strongly advise that you take your kids, even when quite young, to a separate eye doctor. Pediatricians are really not qualified in this area to detect problems. I would take them there even if you pass on some of the well child exams.

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Two reasons:

 

1. Leave a paper trail in case there is any accusation of abuse. I learned the value of this when dd was 2yo and we had to bring her to the ER because she had been sick and was having seizures. A nurse in the ER took issue with our vaccination choices and called the hospital social worker. The fact that we had done all the well-child checks on schedule was key in the social worker determining that we were not medically neglecting anyone. She did not refer us to DCFS.

 

2. There truly are some things that can be addressed if caught. Vision, hearing, or scoliosis problems are three that are easy to hide or not be aware of, but a simple test will reveal. I have both vision problems and scoliosis, so I consider it well worth a yearly visit to screen for such things.

 

I do NOT drag my kids in to the doctor for every little sniffle, but I consider a yearly visit to be a good investment in their safety (in the event of an unfounded DCFS report) and in their health.

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We do not do well child annual exams however, I do have a family dr. and he does the girls annual or bi-annual sports physical as required to participate in sports. This is a pretty thorough physical and he has never had any need to look anywhere that would have made the girls uncomfortable so I am really wondering what you are talking about here. Before the girls were in sports they only went to our established family dr when they were sick which was not very often as all. I do recommend you have an established dr. that your children are familiar with though in case of illness, injury or other need to see the dr. as well as CYA aspects. Try to make sure he at least see them every other year or so. I had one child who didn't have a need to go to the dr. once in five years so I took her along to other's appts. just so the dr. could see her and she him and they were familiar and comfortable with each other. It made it so much easier when it came time for her physical.

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As a homeschooler I worry people think I'm trying to hide my kids from the world or something (crazy, but some people assume stuff like that.)

 

Both boys do scouts/cub scouts and each does a martial art. Calvin has guitar lessons and Hobbes goes to Chinese school. I reckon they get seen enough.

 

Laura

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I haven't read all of the other responses and I won't argue with anyone about what they feel is best for their child. However, since I had a friend whose doctor caught Leukemia through a routine CBC at a well check, I am adamant about taking my kids to theirs. While I know they seem fine and heathy, I know pants sizes are growing, etc. I don't routinely do bloodwork in my home. I am also not a nurse or doctor and I don't often feel for (or correctly identify) swollen lymph nodes, masses in their stomachs, or any other possible problems that are more "internal." The fact is that not every childhood disease has defining characteristics and shows up "just in time," so I am pretty convinced that we will do well checks until my kids move out.

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I like our pediatrician team, and if not for an annual exam, my kids would never be seen since they are rarely sick! :)

 

I think I'm lucky. They respect my vaccination practices, and without hesitation agreed to draw titers when my daughter was 4. (I learned about this option because of all the clearly written notices they post in the waiting areas). They also have a sick waiting room and a well waiting room. That helps a lot. And there's a lot of give and take -- they defer to me in the end, but give me their point of view on all issues, and I respect that.

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2. There truly are some things that can be addressed if caught. Vision, hearing, or scoliosis problems are three that are easy to hide or not be aware of, but a simple test will reveal. I have both vision problems and scoliosis, so I consider it well worth a yearly visit to screen for such things.

 

My pediatricians' office does insufficient vision and hearing testing. I recommend taking them to an eye doctor who specializes in children before the age of 7, when many people first think to take their children in. Obviously many schools do some sort of vision/hearing screenings that homeschooled kids wouldn't participate in. Ideally an eye exam at age 3, if not earlier.

 

Many well child exams include examining genitalia. I think that's what the OP was referring to. I suggested finding another doctor if the current one gives the girls the creeps during this exam. The doctor should be professional and someone the girls feel comfortable with.

Edited by stripe
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I've seen this topic come up many times here. As a pediatrician, I obviously believe in well-checks and recommend them yearly. I practice what I preach and take my own kids to see one of my partners to have another set of eyes looking at them.

 

The reason I think they are important is thatalthough most of the time you are right in that all it seems we do is height/weight/vision/listen to the heart/pat you on the back and say see you next year it's the small amount of cases that we do catch something important or even very serious that makes them worthwhile. A list off the top of my head of things I've found at check-ups includes: heart murmurs (some requiring treatment), diabetes, thryoid disease, scoliosis (many times), craniosynostosis (serious problem in an infant of skull sutures closing early), nystagmus (eye problem), vision problems/"lazy" eyes, infantile spasms (very serious type of seizure in infants), autism, devlepmental delay, kidney disease, anemia. Those would all be in kids where the parent did not suspect anything and did not ask about the issue, I just found it. They were all in caring, involved parents who weren't neglecting their kids. I think I'm a fairly average doctor as far as that goes...it's not that I'm saying my exam skills are excellent, it's just that it's not that unusual to find something that is a concern, especially if we are catching it early before it's very obvious.

 

I also see that in the teen years a lot of people come in less to see their doctor unless they have sports exams they have to do. That's a whole other issue about whether people feel comfortable with the doc seeing the teen alone...but when I do it's not unusual to hear about depression, sexual activity, drug use, anorexia, anxiety, etc. This would be in be in "good" kids who aren't telling their parents these things. One reason I think it's good to see the pediatrician or family doctor regularly is that when a 15 yr old comes in to see me for anorexia they are much more likely to talk to me and be willing to listen to me if they have seen me regularly before and know me than if they haven't seen me in 4 or 5 years. Similarly, I think its' good for the parents of teens to have a relationship with me. I wouldn't trust my kids going in to talk to a doctor I'd never met or only seen a few times, but I would trust them going in alone with someone we'd seen yearly and knew and who I knew respected me and my values.

 

And the related issue of examining the gentials and making the kids uncomfortable came up somewhere in the thread, can't remember if that was the OP or not. For similar reasons, I do think it is important as a doctor to do a brief gential exam at evey visit. For boys we catch undescended testes, hernias, varioceles, delayed/precocious puberty. For girls we catch delayed/precocious puberty and hernias. I think it should be done respectfully and if the child/teen or parent is uncomfortable or refuses that is fine, but I do think it's a standard part of a full exam.

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We are still at the annual visits for vaccinations stage, and once we are past that we will need to show evidence of exams for homeschool reporting. I don't see the annuals as a big deal, and I don't always have them done right on time. I usually take the opportunity to ask any questions I may have and get the vision and hearing screenings done. I have noticed that our current pediatrician only seems to check the private areas while the kids are still in diapers. I only noticed this year after ds's check-up (his first year fully trained), and then realized they have never examined dd in that area, and we started with that practice after she was trained. So I really don't know that that part of the exam is necessary if your girls are uncomfortable with it.

Same here. My dd started with the current ped we use at about age 4 and has never been examined in certain areas. And she is so painfully shy and modest that I can't even imagine them asking this. For dd's ell visits we typically see the ped's wife who is his NP and we love her. But she knows us and knows how it would make my dd wither up and die if she were asked to check that area. DD is way more comfortable with a woman. We discussed upcoming changes since she turned 9 and that was about it. So I will keep on taking her for well visits. I think it's nice to have that relationship and comfort. I never have to feel strange about calling for small things, and their nurse is practically a personal friend and I like that they know who we are when we walk in.

 

DS is a different story. He's being seen by some specialists about his growth since he was a preemie (he started his life at this practice) and the doc has taken a keen interest in him. He calls my son his "poster child" for healthy preemie development. Puffs me up a little.

 

If "those" exams were routine in our ped's office, I would ask why, ask them to stop (although my ds doesn't care - he's a 5 yo boy:tongue_smilie:) and if it was something they wouldn't stop, find a new practice.

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Yes. We found a doctor we like, and want to maintain a working relationship with him. To that end, I feel it's important to be seen annually, and besides that his office simply requires regular visits (I think at least every 18 mos?) in order to be considered a patient. If dd gets sick and needs to be seen right away, I do not want to have to go through the process of being re-established as a patient, or risk being turned away.

 

Also, our medical insurance is changing, and emphasizing preventive care more. We found out that we will get a monetary reward if dh (the employee) gets an annual physical and fills out a health questionnaire. At some point in the future, they may expand this to all the family members. And they pay 100% of the cost for an annual physical for every family member. So we have no reason not to.

 

If you are uncomfortable with part of the examination, I would encourage you to just ask your doctor about it. If you find his/her reasons compelling, maybe you can put your daughters' minds at ease by talking to them about why it is important? If you don't find the reasons compelling, you can simply request that part of the exam be skipped, right? This is such a tricky area. On the one hand, we all want to teach our daughters (and sons I am sure!) that absolutely no one has a right to see or touch them in a way that makes them uncomfortable, but on the other hand, unpleasant medical examinations are a fact of life and sometimes for the sake of our health or even our very lives, may simply be required.

 

ETA: Also, as others have mentioned, I like the idea of a health professional seeing her every year because even though I am her parent and know her very well, I am not so educated that I couldn't miss a sign that something was wrong. And, to a lesser extent, the "paper trail" proving I'm a trustworthy parent does count, since we are homeschoolers and therefore "fringe" to some people's minds.

Edited by GretaLynne
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no. my duty as a parent does not include having a healthy child checked over and taking them to an area where they will be exposed to all sorts of horrible illnesses and germs.

 

i have no problem calling up a doc and taking them in if they happen to GET sick, but that happens very rarely.

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They are forced to show an area that embarrasses them, and since *I* know it's fine there (no abuse) I'm thinking, why put them through that?

 

I'm surprised by this. My pedi never checks "down there" unless there is a problem (UTI, irritation, etc.) and my daughter is 10.

 

Even with this latest well visit when I was discussing the fact that she was started puberty, they took my word for the fact that things were changing. They were careful to give her privacy by allowing her to hold her shirt up against her chest and they just believed her when she said she was growing hair. At my request, they discussed some of the changes that would be taking place (I had talked with her but wanted her reassured).

 

I take my children to the doctor every year but it isn't always a well visit. If they otherwise have not had a doctor's appointment that year, I'll set up a well visit.

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Our insurance doesn't cover well checks after age 7, which we unfortunately discovered after taking our 7-year-old for her annual visit. They also don't cover vaccinations after age 7. I was pretty upset considering we got the chicken pox booster at that visit as well, which we could have gotten for much cheaper at the health department.

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Nope. My olders do get physicals at Urgent Care type places for scouts though. The rest of the time? Olders and youngers are healthy, do not and will not get vaccinated, and they haven't broken anything yet. If they're sick with something I feel unqualified to handle or they do break something I will take them in for that. We are uninsured though, so Urgent Care is our first choice just because it's cheaper.

 

My kids get much more detailed measurements than a doctor would do three or four times a year, because I'm their personal seamstress. ;)

 

I've already had a kid stop growing, and the dr. who did his well checks poo-pooed my worries. From my homework we discovered he had celiac disease, and took ds in to tell the doctor that. He's the only kid of mine who ever had regular well checks as a wee one. I want a refund. :tongue_smilie:

Edited by SilverMoon
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why or why not?

 

Mine always have, but I find them a complete waste of time. I can see how much my kids are eating and growing. I can see their clothing sizes change. To have their hearts listened to, neck and stomach felt, bend and touch the floor, check eyes, throat and ears........ hoenstly, it's never produced anything other than showing where my kids are on the growth chart.

 

I cancelled my youngest's annual in August and never rescheduled. I'm finding it hard to get myself to bring her in. What's the point? My boys need their annuals so they can go to school (oldest will be in college next year) but I'm considering not taking the girls anymore. They are forced to show an area that embarrasses them, and since *I* know it's fine there (no abuse) I'm thinking, why put them through that?

 

Yes but if they get sick and only need medication ordered via telephone or a quick office visit, you may lose ability this if they do not go to checkups. Then you would be stuck going to a hospital or clinic if something happens. The doctor may drop you as a client if you are not seen at least once a year. Plus, doctors are trained to recognize medical problems on examination that a lay person could easily miss.

 

My 2 cents:)

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We go once a year. The number one reason is so that we can have their asthma medications refilled. The ped office (or any doctor for that matter) usually requires seeing them once a year. I make it for October, before our bad season of illnesses so the doctor can listen to their healthy lungs. The boys have been well managed and we stay on top of things.

 

We also go so that we can catch any problems before they really become problems. We have a genetic disease on my dh's side. It's a super rare one and our doctor was on top of the screening.

 

I respect other people's rights to handle their children's health care the way they see fit. For our family, this includes yearly physicals.

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I didnt even go for well baby checks after the first couple with the first baby.

However dh and I both have a fair amount of medical knowledge, and neither of us think much of doctors generally.

I have never even considered going for a yearly check up.

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I have been taking them yearly mostly (we missed one year). I think it's important because they can catch things that need to be caught early. I also like that we're building repore with the Dr. They know her and are comfortable there. They are due for it now and I'm thinking of waiting until spring this year. I'm not overly scared of the flu, but it's probably wise to be cautious and not take them into a Dr.s office.

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No well check ups here. My oldest was an unassisted homebirth, and I could not get his birth certificate until I proved he was alive with a doctor's note, so that is the only time we had to go to a doctor. (Apparently, people lie about having kids to get welfare.) So, we paid to go to a naturopath who would not push vaxes. She looked at his testicles and it was a really uncomfortable moment. I study natural medicine, and we are thankfully healthy and well. I certainly didn't need to spend $70 to be told my child is healthy, lol!

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I'm a mom of five and my oldest child is ten years old. We do not go to yearly check-ups. We have no issues- allergies, etc. We do see a doctor IF there is a serious issue that arises (which we just went through one of those). We stopped vaccinating, but when my oldest three children needed shots to get into public schools in Georgia we went through the Health Dept. Other than for some stitches and a broken arm, they haven't been since they were babies.

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We do, and the pediatrician caught a hernia early in one of my sons by examining his genital area.

 

She still does examine that area and my oldest is 11. She explains the difference between a doctor examining with a parent present and inappropriate touching. Good reminder to discuss with my older son if he wants to move to a male doctor in that practice at some point. I guess I'm not sure why I would avoid a medical exam of that area since as an adult you have to do it, and I think I was more squeamish about it as a young adult because I wasn't used to such exams.

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I took my ds for his 5 yr. checkup in August. (He was actually 6, but his birthday is in March and I refuse to take him during flu season. We had my dd wedding, things got delayed and he was 6!) When I checked in at the window they wanted me to update his records because he hadn't been there since his last immunizations at 18 months!!! No well visits, no sick visits!! When I saw the pediatrician I told her that I was a little embarrassed that it had been so long since he was here. She just laughed. She has never pressured me for well visits. My ds was #10. She said she just figures I know what I'm doing by now. Has never pushed anything. I love her! Now if I had to see one of the other doctors for a sick visit they would have given me trouble.

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Ditto. We went more often when they were younger to get shots and chekcs, but they just don't need it every year now.

 

We don't go every year, but do see our doctor when we are concerned about a problem.

My younger son has recently developed migraines, and he's been thoroughly checked over in the past year.

My older son was in for a sports physical a couple of years ago.

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Nope. We've not had insurance since my youngest was 2 so they only went when I was convinced that they absolutely needed to--strep tests and things like that. We did use the child & teen checkups through our public health department (which is unusually wonderful!) and got all their immunizations through public health. We could afford that, so that's what we did.

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My dd 16 is going to have an annual this December. Since she sees doctors a number of times a year, I thought, why do we need one? But then I figured none are looking at her as a whole person. I can't tell lots of things. She has a minor heart issue and sees a pediatric cardiologist for that once a year. She sees a gynecologist once a year for PMDD. SHe sees a neurologist once a year for migraines. I guess her adolescent medicine specialist will check on other things that those visits might have missed. Also, in her case, I think it will be helpful to have a record. We are going to have to have a doctor write a letter to the college she accepts about single housing.

 

WHat has been found on physicals with us- a heart murmur, a request for additional testing that found our youngest's osteoporosis, and a liver problem.

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Nope. We've not had insurance since my youngest was 2 so they only went when I was convinced that they absolutely needed to--strep tests and things like that. We did use the child & teen checkups through our public health department (which is unusually wonderful!) and got all their immunizations through public health. We could afford that, so that's what we did.

 

I could have written this. For 25 years we had no health insurance, so only took the kids to the dr. for actual illnesses. That's all we could afford. The health dept. was great for immunizations, although we did take the kids to our dr. to get their college immunizations.

 

The kids were/are healthy. We don't waste our time or money going to a doctor when we are healthy; we can't afford it.

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