Yearly Check-Up with Pediatrician
Whether your child has IBD or not, you should see your pediatrician once a year for “check-ups.” There are many things about your child’s health that has nothing to do with IBD. Going to see your gastroenterologist is not a substitute for seeing your pediatrician.
Response to Vaccines
Your child has likely received many vaccines from your pediatrician over the years to help prevent serious infections. Every child with IBD should be tested to see if (s)he has responded to some of these vaccines. Because they may be on anti-inflammatory medicines, they might be at higher risk for some of these infections if they are not already immune. In other cases, if your child is exposed to a certain infection to which (s)he is not immune (such as chicken pox), your child might need to receive medicine to prevent that infection.
Vaccines with IBD
Children with IBD should have a flu vaccine every year. They should receive the flu shot and not the nasal spray vaccine because they might be on anti-inflammatory medicine. Children who are on strong anti-inflammatory medicines should not get any live viral vaccines. If you have questions, please ask your pediatrician or gastroenterologist.
Yearly Vitamin D Evaluation
Vitamin D helps build strong, healthy bones. Vitamin D comes from both our diet and from the sun changing cholesterol to Vitamin D. Inflammation can stop people from absorbing Vitamin D. We recommend that once a year (usually in the winter) children with IBD have a blood Vitamin D level checked to determine whether they should start a Vitamin D supplement.
Bone Density Scan
The inflammation from IBD can affect the strength of your bones (as can steroids). When children are diagnosed with IBD, they should have a bone density scan (“DEXA scan”) to measure their bone strength. Your child may need bone density scans on a regular basis depending on the results.
Inflammation from IBD and certain medicine can also affect your child’s eyes. Newly diagnosed children should have an eye exam by an ophthalmologist any time they have eye problems. If your child has eye pain or blurry vision, bring your child in for an eye exam as soon as possible. Your child will likely benefit from regular eye exams (every 1 to 2 years).
Tuberculosis Screening (PPD or Blood Testing)
These tests are recommended and required before starting certain kinds of anti-inflammatory IBD medicines. These tests are usually performed at your pediatrician’s office.
This document is intended to provide health related information so that you may be better informed. It is not a substitute for a doctor's medical advice and should not be relied upon for treatment for specific medical conditions.