How do I choose a Pediatrician?
You're right to wonder. People look for different things in doctors, and what's most important for you may not even be on someone else's radar. So rather than just gathering a list of names, try asking some probing questions of whoever makes the recommendation, including:
- How does your child respond to the doctor?
- Does the doctor seem to enjoy working with children?
- Does the doctor seem to know about the latest medical advances?
- Does the doctor welcome questions?
- Does the doctor take time to discuss problems and listen to your concerns?
- If it's a group practice, do you know and like the other doctors?
- Is the office staff patient and helpful?
- How long do you usually have to wait?
- Is the waiting room pleasant and kid-friendly?
- Is parking plentiful and convenient?
- Is there anything you don't like or wish was different about your child's doctor or her practice?
The answers you get can help narrow your list to the handful of doctors you'd like to meet in person.
Before going a step further, make sure all the doctors you're considering are taking on new patients and will accept your health insurance. And although this might seem unnecessarily cautious, it's wise to check with your state medical board to find out whether any doctor you're interested in has been disciplined for wrongdoing.
Next, look over your list and note which doctors have convenient locations and office hours. The best doctor in the city can lose her luster if her office is hard to get to (imagine driving at rush hour with a sick and miserable child).
The next step is visiting your top prospects at their office. Only a face-to-face meeting (preferably with both parents present) will show you whether this doctor has the warmth, sensitivity, and professionalism you're seeking.
My child's first eye check-up?
At what age should my child first have his eyes checked by an optometrist?
The first eye examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist should be by three years old. If there is any family history of: strabismus (eye turn), amlyopia ("squint") or if there is any concern in the first months of life of a vision or eye health issue, then sooner is better.
For children under three years of age, it is important to ask whether the doctor examines kids that young when booking, as there is some different equipment used to test infants and young toddlers that not every practitioner has. Humans are born with an under-developed visual system and much of the development takes place after birth. We learn to focus & co-ordinate the movements of the two eyes, as well as learning to understand shapes, and colours, textures, depth, etc. If there is a problem with one or both of the eyes that interferes with the development, then the visual system may not "learn" to see properly.
Given that the infant would not know any different and is not verbal, the parent would not know of the problem. If the issue is not addressed early enough, there is a chance that "perfect vision" might never be attainable even with correction. This is why early, routine, annual eye examinations are so important.
So check out St. George 4 Kids' directory of Optometrists and find one in your area.
How to keep your kids cavity-free
How to keep your kids cavity-free
Scary stat: Tooth decay is the most chronic childhood disease in the U.S., far more prevalent than asthma and hay fever. But the good news is that this condition can be completely prevented with early and regular visits to the dentist and proper hygiene at home. Here’s more on dental care for kids, as well as ways to keep your little one’s smile as healthy as it is cute!
BABY THOSE TEETH
Sure, those baby teeth are temporary, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe from permanent problems.To keep those itty bitty biters clean, parents should start swiping out infant’s mouths along the gum line with a wet washcloth from day one, which gets them used to having their mouths cleaned after eating. And as teeth start to come in, break out the brush—and the floss. Also, it’s key to be super-cautious of the contents of your baby’s bottle, especially at bedtime. Giving kids juice or milk at night is a big risk, as it can lead to decay. If child needs to drink at night, stick to water.
THE FIRST VISIT
And just as it’s never too soon to establish a hygiene routine with your child, experts say trips to the dentists should also start early. Plan to set up your child’s first appointment as soon as her first tooth erupts or no later than the first birthday (and then every six months after that).
Aside from a meet-and-greet with the dentist, standard first exams include an overview of the child’s health history and diet, as well as a thorough exam (parents will likely hold infants and toddlers during this part).
FINDING THE RIGHT DENTIST FOR YOU
Hoping your kid’s first visit will go just as smooth? Look for a dentist who specializes in pediatric care. Plus, a family-focused dentist is likely to offer a fun office environment (a la the treasure chest and giveaways) and hire staff who can comfort your child and handle her many moods.
So, Check out St. George 4 Kids' directory of Pediatric Dentists in your area.
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