The same goes for mental illnesses. If left untreated, the consequences can be serious and even deadly.
The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Conn., has turned a harsh spotlight on the detection of mental illness in children.
"It's still looked upon by some people as being a weakness and it's not a weakness," says Dr. Gail Callaway, a pediatrician at Smithsburg Family Center. "Mental health illness is an illness just like somebody has diabetes or somebody who has high blood pressure."
While some parents don't want to admit their child may need help, psychiatrists say screening is a must and it's society who sheds a negative light on the issue.
"In society as soon as you give that label, he's the one with ADHD or he's the one with asperger's or he's autistic, society everywhere puts that label and that decides how they treat that child," says Jerry McCarney, chief operating officer at QCI Behavioral Health.
In Washington County, children's annual physicals already include a short mental screening.
"Everything is age appropriate so what you would do for a five year old would be different than what you would do for a teenager,"says Dr. Callaway. "Your questions will vary depending on the age of the child."
20-year-old Adam Lanza was believed to be mentally ill when he opened fire in an elementary school killing 20 children and six adults before taking his own life. Authorities say this is an eye opener and hope mental screenings will be taken more seriously.
"Sometimes you can tell so much by observing. The child may be somewhat antagonistic toward the parent, they may be difficult to get along with," says Dr. Callaway.
"We use play therapy or maybe you have an activity you want them to color or draw a picture and then you can asses what their behavior is like," says McCarney. "When they're doing that also when they're in that process it opens up their mind and lots of times they're more free to speak to you."
Psychiatrists emphasize that drugs only help the problem, but they're not the solution.
They say behavior modifications at home and at school have shown the best results.