Does Your Child Need A Pediatrician?
A child’s wellness is the utmost priority of parents. They want to see their little ones in the best health. If you are also a parent, we are sure that you can relate to this. While there are many things you can do to care for your child’s health and wellness, seeking guidance from a pediatrician might be the most important thing on the list.
Many parents do the mistake of taking their kids to a family practice doctor every time they need medical help. While there is nothing wrong with seeking help from a family practice doctor for adults, it is always best to take your child to a pediatric doctor as the latter are better qualified for that.
If you don't know who a pediatrician is or if your child even needs a pediatrician, this article is for you. Along with that, we are also going to tell you about the situations where pediatric specialists can help you and the things you should expect when you visit a pediatrician. Keep reading.
What does a pediatrician do?
A pediatrician is a doctor that has the medical expertise in treating babies, children, and teenagers. These doctors take special children's pediatrics training and acquire skills that deal with the health and growth of children of all ages.
It is important to know here that pediatric specialists do not just treat diseases and give pediatric medicine but also ensure continuous growth, health, good behavior, and learning of children. They also have the expertise to correlate different conditions and illnesses of children.
There are various pediatric specialties. Some pediatricians have expertise in treating newborn babies (also called neonatology), some treat heart problems of children (cardiology), and so on. If you think that your child is having any developmental problem, you can seek the guidance of a developmental pediatrician. You will be amazed to see how a developmental pediatrician can assist your child to thrive.
Does your child need a pediatrician?
This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself if you are a parent and your child is in the growth phase or he/she is experiencing a medical problem. If you have already visited a general physician, they can tell if you need pediatric care or not.
However, if you haven’t visited a general physician, the following conditions are a sign that you should be visiting a pediatrician:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Problems having a sound sleep
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- Poor rate of growth
- Epilepsy or any other brain conditions
- Developmental dysplasia of the hip or other similar problems with muscles or bones
- Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or other similar disabilities
- Constipation or fecal incontinence
Seeking guidance from a pediatrician when a child is born can also be helpful as a pediatrician can tell if everything is alright. It is not necessary that a pediatrician will give you pediatric medicine, he or she might also suggest you make some nutritional changes in your child’s diet.
Things you must know before going to a pediatrician
It is always good to prepare a few things before you visit a pediatrician. Here are a few things that you should know before going to a pediatrician:
What is the problem that you want to consult:
If you are visiting pediatricians because you want the treatment of a problem, you should first prepare a list of all the symptoms that you see in your child. Although, it is also totally fine to see a pediatrician without any problem; just for a regular checkup.
Some pediatricians have the policy that they don’t see a patient without a referral from a general physician. If your pediatrician has such a policy, request a general physician to make the appointment for you. A general physician can also help you with making the waiting time shorter if there is an emergency or directing you to a specific pediatrician since there are various pediatric specialties.
Always ensure that your child’s medical policy is covering the pediatric care charges before you visit the hospital. You can contact the customer care of the hospital or your medical policy provider to confirm the same.
Search ‘Paediatrician near me’ on the internet and you will find a list of pediatricians near you. If you think that commuting can be a problem, you can also book online consultation and get Covid consultation for kids through video conference.
If you don’t have any previous experience of visiting pediatricians, it is better to write down your questions or problems that you think are of the utmost importance.
How frequently do you visit the pediatrician?
If you are planning to consult a pediatrician because of a health problem, you need not worry about the frequency. Even if you visited a pediatrician yesterday and your child is experiencing a problem today, you should not hesitate to visit a pediatrician.
However, if you are visiting a pediatrician for a regular checkup, there is a frequency prescribed by the experts that works the best. We have categorized it into the following two categories:
A pediatric doctor can see your son or daughter just after the birth. After that, you can visit a developmental pediatrician when your infant’s age is:
- One month old
- Two months old
- Fours months old
- Six months old
- Nine months old
- Twelve months old
These are the timings of regular checkups. If your pediatrician finds a problem or delay in your infant growth, she will give you an appointment accordingly.
1 to 4 years old
Generally, it is considered that you should take your children to the pediatrician at least 7 times when they are between the ages of 1 and 4 years. Here are is the list of the timings:
- When your child is one year old
- When your child is 15 months old
- When your child is 18 months old
- When your child is 24 months old
- When your child is 30 months old
- And finally when your child attains the age of 4 years
After the age of 4 years, it is a general norm to take your child to the pediatrician every year. If the pediatrician finds in the annual overall health check-up that your child is having an ideal growth, you don't need to visit a pediatrician for another year.
It should be mentioned here that children with weak immune systems should be taken to pediatricians more frequently than healthy children. You can ask the visiting timeline to your pediatrician on the first appointment.
Why are regular visits important?
Most parents think that they don’t need to visit a pediatrician if their child is growing at a normal rate and not showing any signs of diseases. However, this type of thinking has an inherent problem.
Sometimes, a health problem doesn’t show up until it has grown. Laypersons can not detect these problems by themselves. So, if you don’t regularly visit a pediatrician, you might be ignoring such an ailment.
Pediatricians, on the other hand, can detect such problems because of their children's pediatrics training, experience, and the physical checkups they do. If a problem is detected at an earlier stage, it becomes easier to treat it. So, a little effort can save your munchkin from a lot of pain and suffering.
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