Choosing a Doctor for Your Child
A pediatrician is a type of doctor who has studied children’s health. This type of doctor takes care of your child’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. If you are bringing a child into the world, it is important to pick out a trusting, reliable and understanding doctor. One that can both relate well to kids and make them feel calm in the doctor’s office is a plus.
Unlike a primary care physician, doctors who studied pediatrics are equipped to deal with a wide array of health issues from minor problems to serious diseases. If they feel the health problem is outside of their expertise, these doctors can still refer you to another expert.
Whether it’s a pediatrician or a family physician, it is important to establish a regular doctor for your child. It’s a personal choice whether or not you go with a specialized doctor for children or a general family doctor. It is necessary for a child to see a doctor many times beginning from birth to two years of age. During this stage, these well-child visits occur multiple times annually. From there on, your doctor will likely want to give your child annual check-ups.
An advantage of picking a pediatrician is that they are specialized in children’s health. They only see children in their office, providing them with a wealth of experience in treating children’s illnesses and recognizing potential issues. If you are aware that your child has a serious health problem, you may want to research doctors who have had a lot of experience with that particular illness. Always confirm that your doctor is “board-certified”. This ensures that this doctor has been given rigorous examinations distributed by the American Board of Pediatrics. Certified pediatric doctors must meet regular training conditions to keep that certification.
Caring for Your Child
Your doctor will give your child annual physical exams, vaccinations, and treatments for illnesses. They will ensure your child is reaching the appropriate growth milestones. They can also provide advice on your child’s current health condition, development, nutrition, physical activity, mental fitness and make referrals to specialists, when needed.
If you are a going to be a new parent, hospitals will likely expect you to have a doctor picked out. Your baby’s first check-up may be done by the doctor you chose or a hospital doctor. If the check-up is done at the hospital, notes about your baby’s exam will be sent to your doctor of choice. After the initial check-up, your doctor expects to have the first well-child visit within 48-72 hours. After that, your child will begin to receive regular well-child check-ups.