A pediatrician is a medical doctor who specializes in treating children who can range in age from newborns to teenagers. They often provide services like the following:
• Wellness exams
• Prescription refills
• Sports physicals
• Allergy treatments
How Often Should Your Child See a Pediatrician?
The answer depends on the child’s health and age. Generally speaking, a healthy child who is at least two or three years old will need to see their doctor only once a year for a check-up. Younger children will need to go more often.
A newborn baby should see their pediatrician three to five days after birth. They should go again when they have reached the following ages:
• One month old
• Two months old
• Four months old
• Six months old
• Nine months old
• 12 months old
• 15 months old
• 18 months old
• 24 months old
Babies are fragile, and their immune system is not fully developed. There are also a number of birth defects that may not be readily apparent when the child is born. Frequent visits to the pediatrician will give the doctor many opportunities to examine the child and catch potential problems early. Similarly, they allow the pediatrician to administer the needed inoculations.
What Does a Wellness Exam Involve?
During the wellness exam, the doctor can check the child’s health and development. They will measure the child’s height and weight and compare the results to both the general population and the child’s family.
The pediatrician will also test the child’s heart, lungs, hearing, and vision. They will discuss any concerns that the parents have with them. For example, if the child does not seem to be sleeping well, the pediatrician can provide advice and/or reassurance.
Pediatric medicine is a huge field with many subspecialties that include the following:
• Adolescent medicine
• Child abuse pediatrics
• Developmental-behavioral pediatrics
• Neonatal-perinatal pediatrics
There are also pediatric subspecialties devoted to disciplines like cardiology, rheumatology, endocrinology, and so on.
Why Do Children Need Vaccines?
Vaccines protect both children and the people around them from dangerous infectious diseases like measles. If a large enough percentage of a population is vaccinated against a disease, a phenomenon called “herd immunity” develops in which everybody is protected from the disease – including people who can’t be given the vaccine like newborns, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems.
If you are interested in taking your child to see a pediatrician, the staff at Southside Medical Center in Atlanta can help guide you in the right direction. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!