Following the recommended schedule for checkups is the best thing you can do for your child’s long-term health. These appointments are the perfect opportunity to talk to your pediatrician about growth, development and behavior.
Here are 10 questions to ask your pediatrician at each well-child visit to help you get the most out of your appointment:
1. Is my child’s development and growth appropriate for his/her age?
Especially during the infant months, it can be easy to become fixated on the percentiles for your child’s height and weight. Whether your child is in the 25th percentile or the 90th can both be considered normal. The more important factor is the rate of growth and development.
2. What vaccine(s) does my child need during the visit? What does it protect against?
For some physicians, immunizations are so commonplace that they may neglect to thoroughly explain exactly what vaccinations they are administering at each appointment. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be sure to ask about possible adverse reactions and in what cases you should contact the doctor should they appear.
3. Is everything up to date, and may I get a record of my child’s shots?
In accordance with Georgia state law, licensed childcare facilities and public schools are required to verify immunizations prior to admittance for all children. There are only types of exemptions–medical and religious, both of which require either a valid Georgia Immunization Certificate or a signed, notarized statement called an affidavit of religious exemption. You may also be asked to provide a shot record for sports or other extracurricular activities. Go ahead and request a copy of your child’s shot records before you leave the pediatrician’s office so that you already have it when the need arises.
4. What infectious diseases are going around and how I can best protect against them?
Your pediatrician can tell you if there is currently an outbreak of contagious illnesses such as RSV, the flu, whooping cough or norovirus, and measures you can take to help keep your child from contracting it.
5. Can I turn my child’s car seat forward? Is he/she old enough for a booster seat? Or to get rid of the booster seat?
When it comes to child safety seats, it’s less about age and more about height, weight and the limitations of the safety seat that you are using. Before turning the seat around, moving to a booster or getting rid of a booster seat, consult with your child’s pediatrician.
6. When should my child start using regular toothpaste?
Ask your doctor if your child should be using fluoride or fluoride-free toothpaste, and whether your child can benefit from fluoride varnish.
7. At what age should my child go to the dentist and how often?
If you haven’t already chosen a pediatric dentist, ask for recommendations in your area. You may also want to verify with your insurance provider at what age preventative coverage starts for children.
8. Is bedwetting normal for older potty-trained kids?
Accidents well after your child is potty-trained can be normal, particularly overnight. If you have concerns over whether your child’s accidents are considered excessive or indicative of another problem, ask at your next appointment. He/she may have recommendations about ways you can help your child.
9. When should I bring my child back?
During the first two years of your child’s life, you will visit the pediatrician more frequently. Beyond that, checkups will space out. Ask when you should bring your child back. In many cases, physician schedules won’t be available that far out to book your next appointment before you leave, but be sure to ask how far in advance you should call or request an appointment online to ensure you’re able to see your preferred provider.
10 And finally, ask about any specific concerns you have, like “what can I do to encourage my picky eater?” or “How can I manage my child’s allergies?”
Your pediatrician only sees your child a few times a year, or in some cases only once a year. And typically appointments are fairly brief. If you don’t raise specific concerns you have, they may not be able to tell as your child may not present symptoms while in front of them.
Schedule Your Child’s Well Visit Today
If it is time for your child’s well visit, please contact our office at (706) 876-2130 to schedule an appointment or request an appointment online. White’s Pediatrics has three locations in Dalton, Chatsworth and Calhoun, Georgia to best serve youWhat All Parents Should Know About Food Allergies »