Parents Should Know These 4 Basics Of Working With Pediatricians
Pediatricians and parents work together to care for kids' health. Fortunately, you don't have to have formal training in pediatrics to do some basic things for your child. If you can address these four concerns, your kid will have better health in the early years of their life.
Develop and Maintain a Schedule
Visiting the pediatrician regularly is important in a child's early years. A doctor can check for warning signs of developmental and growth problems. Ideally, they can catch any issues quickly and address them before they have an adverse impact on a child's development.
Especially in the first couple of years, expect the schedule to involve visits to a pediatrics practice every few months. If a kid has known health issues, that may even be every few weeks.
Watch a Kid's Hydration and Eating Habits
It is worth noting you don't want to get overly concerned while discussing these things directly with the child. However, keep tabs on how much your kid is drinking and eating. You should also pay attention to their bowel and urinary habits and patterns, especially in the early years.
There is a line between being a picky eater and heading on a path to malnutrition. Talk about it with the doctor, and they'll let you know based on measurements of the kid's height, weight, and overall well-being. Unless the doctor says so, though, don't intervene to force a kid to eat or discourage them.
Vaccines are one of the best front-line defenses against early childhood illnesses. Over a century ago, the world's cemeteries had many tombstones of infants and toddlers. By one estimate, 20% of the mortality of children younger than age 5 in the pre-vaccine era arose from diseases doctors can now immunize kids against.
Immunization is one of the biggest reasons a modern kid gets to just be a kid, so take it seriously. If you have questions about vaccination, pediatricians will be happy to discuss them with you in detail.
Know Your Medical Coverage
Yes, it can be annoying to deal with the health insurance system. However, you'll avoid a lot of hassle if you know which doctors, hospitals, and clinics work with your insurance provider. Ask any pediatricians you want to work with what their hospital network affiliations are, too. You should also ask the doctor which physician will take their patients if they're busy, unavailable, or on vacation.