Caring for your child’s physical and mental health is a great responsibility. But fortunately, there are specialized doctors who can work with you from the time your little one is a baby to the time they graduate high school. Here at Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA, we employ pediatrics doctors who can make sure your child is healthy and develops well throughout their youth.
Most people see their pediatrician at least once a year to check that their child is hitting their developmental milestones. In between, the physician is available whenever your child is unwell. Working with a doctor who specializes in children is almost always recommended because they have the necessary knowledge to detect and resolve even minor problems. Read on to find out more about what a pediatrician does and why you should work with one.
What Does a Pediatrics Doctor Do?
A pediatrician is a doctor who has been trained to monitor both the physical and emotional wellbeing of children. This kind of physician has a very high level of education and experience, and they understand the illnesses children face. Whenever your child is unwell, you can call your pediatrician, and they will give you advice or book you in for an appointment at the clinic.
Periodically, you will visit your physician for a checkup and to make sure your child is developing well. The doctor can administer all necessary immunizations and prescribe supplements or medication whenever necessary. If there is a problem, the pediatrician can refer you to the appropriate specialist, for instance a physiotherapist or an optometrist.
They Perform Regular Physical Exams
Over time, you and your child will build up a relationship with your pediatrician. They will know your child’s needs and follow their development over many years. During your little one’s early years, you’ll visit the doctor’s office frequently to make sure your child is hitting all their developmental milestones. The physician might check their height and weight, the way they act, their physical development, and their speech.
When your toddler grows into a child, you won’t need to visit the clinic as frequently anymore. In general, one checkup a year is enough from ages 2-16. However, each patient’s situation is different, and you can discuss the optimal frequency of health checkups with your doctor. For instance, a child that had developmental problems in the past might need more frequent exams to rule out further problems.
They Give Immunizations
There are several diseases that can endanger a person’s life and should therefore be vaccinated against. In the first 15 months of your child’s life, the CDC recommends vaccinations against Hepatitis B, Diphteria, Polio, and Influenza. Later on, your child will need to be immunized against measles, mumps, and rubella, tetanus, and possibly HPV.
Your pediatrician can give you more advice about these vaccines and book appointments to administer them. By working with a specialist who is up to date on optimal vaccination schedules, you won’t miss out on an important immunization and put your child at risk of disease.
They Help You When Your Child Is Unwell
Over the years, it’s likely that your child will be unwell several times. In the early months, they might catch a cold or a stomach flu. While this isn’t usually concerning, new parents shouldn’t hesitate to call their doctor and describe the symptoms. Babies are delicate, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
As your child grows older and therefore more mobile, accidents become more of a concern. Your pediatrics doctor can give you advice about how to child-proof your home and minimize the risk of incidents. They are there for you whenever you need a consultation. If your child is very ill or has had a severe accident, you can book an appointment. The physician will examine your child and then prescribe the necessary medicine.
They Collaborate with Specialists
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell whether your child’s development is normal or whether there is a problem. Your phsysician is trained to recognize patterns in children’s behavior, so they can help you decide if you need assistance. For instance, your doctor might let you know that your child has a speech problem and refer you to a speech therapist. If the physician notices an issue with the child’s eyes, they will send them to our in-house optometry department.
Similarly, a pediatrician can determine whether an illness will resolve itself or whether you should seek outside help. Most minor illnesses can be treated right here at the clinic, but there are some conditions that require specialized care. If your doctor believes that the symptoms the child is experiencing are alarming, they will tell you to visit a hospital or a specialized medical facility right away. That way, you can catch conditions early.
Do You Need a Pediatrician?
Now you know what a pediatrician does, you might wonder whether you need to work with one or whether you can simply take your child to your own doctor. In almost every case, consulting a specialist who is trained to work with children is a good idea. They have the knowledge and experience required to help you through the challenging early years and to keep your child on track as they grow up.
Aside from their technical knowledge, pediatricians have the experience and bedside manners necessary to make the visit to your clinic pleasant for your little one. They know about young people’s physical, emotional, and mental needs and can cater to them. While we recommend that all parents take their children to a pediatrician, this is even more important for young people who have a health condition or a physical or mental disability.
When To Contact Your Clinic
You can find and contact a doctor specializing in children even before your baby is born. They are able to work with you from the start, and it can be a good idea to build up a relationship with your doctor as soon as your child arrives. That way, the doctor can witness the early years, which are the most crucial in terms of physical and mental development. Once you’ve reached out and signed up with a pediatrician, you can discuss the frequency of visits with them.
Your doctor can schedule regular visits to monitor your child’s condition and send you reminders about when to come to the clinic. If you notice any changes in your child between visits, you shouldn’t hesitate to call your pediatrics doctor. They will be happy to advise you, book you in for an emergency appointment, or recommend a specialist to you. Once your child is 16 or 18, they no longer need a pediatrician, and they can use a regular doctor.
How To Choose the Right Person
Choosing a physician to work with your child is an important decision that could significantly impact their wellbeing. Aside from being competent, the doctor needs to be friendly with you and your child and in tune with your philosophies. For instance, they should respect your views on breastfeeding and immunizations. What’s more, the staff at your local clinic should always be available when you need help.
At your initial appointment, you should make sure you are comfortable with the doctor you have chosen. Contact your local clinic and find out about the pediatricians they work with, then book a meeting. You can then figure out whether the chosen doctor is a good fit and you’re happy to work with them for years. Everyone here at Southside Medical Center is highly qualified and experienced, so you can be sure that the quality of care will be excellent.
Find a Competent Specialist for Your Child Now
A pediatrics doctor takes on many jobs, and they can work with your child for the first 16-18 years of their life. During this time, you can take your child to regular checkups every year to make sure they are developing well. Your doctor is available whenever there is a problem, and they can refer you to specialists if your child has a condition that can’t be treated at the clinic.
Although any doctor can treat a child, working with a pediatrician is highly recommended because they have the specific knowledge necessary to provide excellent care. What’s more, they have been trained to work with young people, so they will make the doctor’s office visit pleasant for your child. Call us today at Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA to book a meeting with one of our pediatricians.