What You Need to Know about Choosing a Pediatrician
One of the most common parenting mistakes is leaving your child’s health to the pediatrician. While it is the true that your child’s doctor is the expert, you, as the parent, are ultimately responsible for your child’s physical condition. Your child’s doctor is there to present to you the options available in handling your child’s illness or in shaping the way your child eats or conducts his lifestyle. But as a parent, it is your duty to choose which methods will best suit the needs of your child. So don’t be a passive parent. Take charge of your child’s health.
It is essential to keep a record book of health-related events that have taken place. Note immunization shots that have been given to your child. Record illnesses and medications taken. Jot down any allergic reactions. Log in surgeries or medical tests your child has undergone. This record book will be an important reference for your pediatrician, in order that he may be able to accurately diagnose any illness and recommend proper treatment.
Though you are not a doctor, it is important that you are well-informed about children’s diseases. This will make you more sensitive to changes in your child’s condition or to symptoms of illnesses. Moreover, education on such matters will aid you in deciding what food to give your child or what activities will promote good health. In addition, this will give you more confidence when talking to your pediatrician, as you understand well the medical conditions your doctor will be talking about.
When going to a doctor’s appointment, prepare a list of your questions and concerns. If you noticed that your child exhibited certain symptoms or reacted adversely to food or medication, list them down. If you have questions about the treatment your child is undergoing, write these questions down. As much as possible, address all your current concerns during that doctor’s appointment. This will put your mind at ease after the visit. Also, this will help you avoid being constantly on the phone with your doctor, asking questions, and for explanations. Both you and the pediatrician will benefit in a thorough discussion of your child’s health during scheduled doctor’s visits.
Be careful in choosing your child’s pediatrician. As much as possible, stick to just one doctor who will keep track and be familiar will your child’s health condition. A good source of information would be friends and family. Ask around who their pediatricians are and what kind of experience they had. Take into consideration also the pediatrician’s credentials. Do a little research. Find out how many years of practice the doctor has had, whether he has any subspecialty, whether he is pursuing further medical education. Consider also the hospital to which the pediatrician is affiliated. It would be a plus factor if the doctor is affiliated with a good hospital (well-equipped, well-trained staff) near your place. Also, check out his office and clinic hours.