While growing up, your child experiences a rapid emotional, physical and behavioural change. Your kids have unique medical requirements that fall out of the expertise of doctors who primarily treat adults. Here paediatricians come into the picture. Keep reading to know more about them.
What Does Your Pediatrician Do?
A paediatrician is a child’s health care specialist who provides medical care for children who are chronically or acutely ill and preventive healthcare services for healthy children. In addition, a paediatrician manages the physical and mental well-being of the children at each stage of development.
Pediatrician and the delivery team: How do they work together?
The paediatrician plays an essential role in a child’s well-being from the time they are born. From monitoring development and growth to administering vaccines, you need paediatricians at each stage of your child’s life.
Coming to the most crucial time in pregnancy, i.e., labour, requires a delivery team that includes your obstetrician (who is there with you throughout your pregnancy) and trained nurses who have experience in delivering babies.
A paediatrician will be there to take care of your baby after birth but cannot deliver a baby. After delivery, your medical team will take care of your baby in the first few days of life. If something comes up during this period, your paediatrician will be informed.
Therefore, it is very helpful to have a paediatrician as part of your delivery team. This is also useful for babies during high-risk pregnancies or for babies born with complications where the paediatrician can have quick access to the baby’s health and monitor it.
Why Do You Need a Pediatrician?
Paediatricians are highly qualified and well-trained specialists who play a crucial role in ensuring your child’s best health. It would be best if you have them for your kids as they are trained to:
- Determine a healthy lifestyle for your child.
- Offer the right advice and proper guidance to prevent injuries and illness in your child.
- Provide appropriate and early care of acute diseases and prevent their progress.
- Treat life-threatening conditions and complications that require intensive care.
- Assist you in anticipating the various needs of your child as a newborn up to the age of 21.
Children are usually too shy to talk about their health issues; paediatricians understand the need to listen to your child carefully. So they answer all your questions and help you promote and appreciate your child’s needs for healthy development. Not only that, but they also address issues concerning your child’s home environment and family.
How Do You Choose a Pediatrician?
Choosing a paediatrician for your child is one of the most crucial decisions you make for your child’s health. No doubt that this decision is going to be a difficult one.
Here are a few tips to consider while choosing the right Paediatrician:
- First and foremost, look for a board-certified paediatrician and check out his licensing certificate. Besides the doctor’s credentials, look out for experience, medical knowledge and communication skills.
- Secondly, do consider the location of your doctor’s office. Your kids will see their paediatrician several times, especially during the first year of life. Hence, choose a doctor close to your home, work, or daycare that will be more convenient and time-saving.
- Thirdly, you don’t have to choose a paediatrician alone. You can choose the one recommended by your obstetrician who was there throughout your pregnancy or even by your friends & family who can suggest based on their personal experiences.
Paediatrician or Family Physician: What's the Difference?
While both paediatricians and family physicians care for your children, there are some differences due to which you would choose one over the other. One of them is, paediatricians specialize only in treating children, while family physicians treat patients of all ages.
Family doctors treat the largest group of patients at all stages and ages of life. The medical knowledge of a family doctor is hard to beat. There are chances they’ll know something about every health issue you or your child have during your life.
They treat common health problems of children like bedwetting, asthma and pinkeye, and provide adolescent care and birth control when required. In addition, they help manage chronic health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure in adults. And like doctors of your delivery team, the family physician can provide additional services like prenatal care and postnatal care.
Paediatricians specialize in the healthcare of children from birth to adolescence. They are only concerned about children’s medicine. And their day-to-day focus and specialized training help them deliver personalized care to meet your child’s needs. Some examples are: Providing tips on breastfeeding, reassuring children with medical conditions like asthma, pneumonia, gastritis, etc.
Paediatricians are a very important part of every child’s life, and their requirement in the healthcare system cannot be replaced by any other doctor of any other speciality.
Always remember to choose the right paediatrician and consider taking their opinion first when addressing any health-related concerns of your children.