Health Care Providers and Parents
Having a good relationship with your child’s health care provider is essential. After all, that relationship can last up to 18 years. Two of my three children met their pediatrician hours after they were born. It was nice to see a familiar face after just giving birth.
Plan ahead when you are pregnant, get references on pediatricians and actually go in and meet them. Of course, make sure they are a provider under your insurance plan beforehand. Another thing to consider is the distance to the doctor’s office. Maybe the best doctor is across town but many times there is urgency to be seen so one within a 15 minute drive from your home is ideal.
A pediatrician should monitor your child’s health and explain growth and development during well visits. In times of illness, they should diagnose and provide referrals. With either types of visits, parents need to come prepared and be specific about sickness or growth or emotional problems. Doctors have to see more patients in less time so good communication is key. If you have a child that is a preteen, talk with the office or nurse privately beforehand regarding conversations about about sexual development that your doctor may want to have with you and your child. Let them know what you are comfortable with.
Another familiar face may be your child’s dentist. Many times, you can use your family dentist but a pediatric dentist is set up for kids. My son had a problem with severe reflex which which lead to many cavities. We saw our dentist several times a year. I was grateful he knew my son, his hobbies and his condition.
One more piece of advice, let your child have a voice as well. Let them speak and converse with the doctor or dentist. As parents, we have a tendency to speak for them. Let them talk and describe what’s going on. It’s good for their social development and builds confidence.
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