Everyone needs a doctor to meet in private for their medical needs, and doctors can diagnose problems with their patients and refer them to specialists of all kinds. Any issue from stress on the spine to a psychiatric disorder like bipolar disorder, or issues with the heart or ears may be treated with specialists later on. Most often, it is adults, from their 20s to their elderly years, who are seeing general practice doctors. Where does that leave kids under 18? Adolescents, children, and even babies need health care as well, and this is where pediatric care comes in. A pediatrician is a doctor who indeed specializes in the care of babies and children, and the best pediatrician office in one’s area may be just a Web search away. What should parents look for when seeking pediatric care for their child? What are some common health issues that pediatric care can handle?
Finding Pediatric Care
When parents move to a new area, or when their baby becomes old enough to start needing pediatric care for checkups, the parents may get a referral from their doctor, or from friends and family who have a good pediatrician. Otherwise, they may look online to find pediatricians whom they can visit for their child’s checkups, not to mention a pediatric clinic in general. Parents can look through their city or town based on its name or their ZIP code to find something local, such as “Plano childrens clinic” or “childrens pediatric office San Diego CA”. Doing this will yield a list of nearby clinics, and parents can start narrowing that list down. They can start by removing clinics that are deemed to far away to visit regularly, and those who turn out to already have full client lists. The rest can be visited.
Pediatric offices, dental offices, and other healthcare centers should be visited in person to ensure that the staff there are friendly, qualified, and experienced. Parents may visit a pediatric care center and bring their child along, since their child is the one who will get checkups and care there. Why? A child may be frightened or stressed by some offices or staff members at various clinics, so parents must find a clinic whose ambiance and staff are to the child’s liking. A frightened or uncooperative child may be difficult to work with when going in for a checkup. All the while, the parents may consult the pediatricians there and check their credentials, work history, and more. Once a good clinic is chosen, the parents may sign up their child and start taking them there for care.
Common Health Issues of Children
Children and babies may suffer from a number of health issues, infections, and even mental disorders. Babies, in particular, have minimal immune systems since they are still growing, and children are known for catching infections often. In fact, children may get seven or eight colds per year, much more than adults. Children are also known for getting many ear infections, and they are often asthmatic or allergic to certain foods. It has been determined that as many as 8% of children in the United States have asthma.
Pediatricians are familiar with the anatomy and common health issues of babies and children, and this sets them apart from more generalized doctors practicing medicine today. Pediatricians go through particular education and training to qualify as child doctors, and they can diagnose issues both physical and mental with a child patient. Not only may infections and genetic disorders such as genetic deafness be diagnosed, but pediatricians may diagnose mental issues more commonly associated with adults. A child patient may, for example, be diagnose with anxiety or even depression. In other cases, a toddler may be diagnosed with a mental disorder such as mental retardation (such as from Down Syndrome) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Autism is commonly diagnosed in small children, and it has a number of distinct symptoms (some autistic individuals are more high-functioning than others, it should be noted). A child may get an autism diagnosis, for example, if he or she focuses intensely on specific tasks such as carefully arranging items, or if the child is stubborn and strict daily routines or refuses to make eye contact or reciprocate socially.