Choosing a pediatrician for your newborn is an essential step in caring for them. For more, the pediatrician you will choose will provide you with important medical advice during the various stages of your child’s growing up years. They help physicians achieve more patient referrals, including pediatric care as you can take a look at http://www.officite.com/pediatric/.
In the first year of your baby, you will be visiting their pediatrician at least seven times for check-ups. Beyond the check-ups, there can also be unplanned visits for fever, cold, or rashes. It is very important that the baby’s parents and guardians can trust the pediatrician of choice, knowing that the doctor is considerate of the baby’s well-being at every step of the way.
Similarly, parents and guardians have the responsibility to show up for every appointment. Do not skip any appointments for your child, especially you’re newborn. Each appointment helps them achieve good health because of the physical exams, screenings, and even vaccinations involved in their early development.
We will list down the top five reasons why having a pediatrician for your child is important.
1. They Offer Specialized Treatment Vs. A Family Practitioner
While family practitioners typically treat adults over the age of 18, pediatricians offer specialized care for younger kids. They will focus on the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of infants, children, and even teenagers up until the age of 21 years old. Such physicians work with the parents, guardians, and the patients themselves in order for the patients to achieve good health during the developmental years.
Pediatric doctors can offer advice, prevent illnesses, and help parents foster a healthy lifestyle for their children in terms of sleeping habits, nutrition, and physical activities. They can also treat acute or chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes.
In the case that your child shows symptoms of a certain medical condition, your pediatrician will even refer you to a pediatric specialist for more evaluation. They have specialized training and unique experience such as orthopedics, in the case that your child exhibits signs of birth defects or developmental disorders or cardiology.
If you have access to pediatric care for your child, it is definitely encouraged to have one as early as possible.
2. They Provide Information and Access to Vaccinations
Vaccinations are an important part of preventing life-threatening diseases, and most vaccines should be administered during our childhood years. Vaccines (or immunizations) are small injections that will help your child fend off infections and boost their immunity to certain diseases.
These are recommended for children throughout their younger years until around 18 years old. While vaccine recommendations change as more scientific research emerges, your pediatrician should administer at least the following:
- Rotavirus vaccine
- Polio vaccine (IPV)
- Pneumococcal vaccine (PCV)
- Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR)
- Meningococcal vaccines
- Flu/Influenza vaccine
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
- Hepatitis A vaccine (HepA)
- Hepatitis B vaccine (HepB)
- Hib vaccine (Haemophilus Influenza Type B)
- Chickenpox (varicella) vaccine
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine (DTaP)
In recent years, more and more parents have been concerned about the effects and safety of vaccines. It is only natural to be worried about the medical treatment your child is receiving. You can always check the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) regarding vaccinations. Also, keep an eye out for side effects such as slight fever or soreness at the injection site. But serious reactions or even illness as side effects are rare, and your pediatrician will assure you of this.
3. They Will Monitor Your Child’s Developmental Progress
Another significant reason to regularly bring your child to a pediatrician is so they can monitor your child’s developmental progress. Physical screenings are important to evaluate your child’s growth in terms of weight, height, etc. The pediatrician will also inform you how your child is growing compared to the standards for that same age and gender, so you will have an idea of how your child is progressing.
More importantly, your pediatrician will check for developmental delays. Delays are not always obvious so you need a physician’s help to determine if your child has a cognitive, hearing, speech problem, or other things. They will ask about your child’s behavior at home and observe their behaviors such as checking reflexes.
4. They Can Care for Early Fevers and Ear Infections
All children will eventually get sick with a fever. Parents tend to panic during the first time that this happens. It will be in your best interest to contact your pediatrician every time your child exhibits feverish symptoms. Other symptoms that go alongside a fever are a stiff neck, headaches, sore throat, severe ear pain, unexplained rash, drowsiness, dehydration or dry mouth, vomiting, and diarrhea.
On average, young children have six to eight colds a year, and these are often paired with an ear infection. The common symptoms are ear pain, tugging at the ear, trouble sleeping, crying, and fever. Some children may be unable to communicate such symptoms or pain to their parents so always keep an eye out for unusual behaviors and have your pediatrician’s number at the ready.
Furthermore, the general rule of thumb is the younger the child, the sooner they should be taken to the doctor. While other physicians are equipped to treat diseases, pediatricians are especially skilled in treating children, babies, and even newborns. You will want their expertise in the case that your child gets sick.
5. They Will Offer Guidance For Any Behavioral Problems
Lastly, behavioral problems are common among children, whether it be with learning or cognitive difficulties, discipline issues, bed wetting, or issues with speech and eating. Pediatricians can offer guidance and treatment for some of these conditions.
However, they may refer you to a developmental-behavioral pediatrician or another health specialist in the case that your child needs specialized treatment. Other specialists include a speech-language pathologist (SLP), occupational therapist (OT), or child psychologist. They have adequate training and experience to consider all aspects of your child’s condition and come up with a treatment plan to address the behavioral problems at hand and prevent further complications.
There are certainly many benefits that your pediatrician can offer your child and even your family. Infants develop special bonds with a good pediatrician, especially if they see them regularly until their teenage years. You will want your child to be comfortable and healthy as they grow up.