Parents, how much do you know about pediatricians? These doctors will be taking care of your children’s health for more than two decades! You better make sure that you know them well.

Who Are Pediatricians?

Pediatricians are doctors responsible for the well-being of children, starting from newborns to those who are 21 years old. They help not only in managing or treating diseases but also in ensuring that these individuals develop healthy habits that they can practice once they reach adulthood.

Becoming a pediatrician is not an easy path. On average, doctors spend 11 years in education and training. These include four years in medical school, one year in an internship, and more years in residency.

General pediatrics in Salem can diagnose, treat, and manage a wide variety of physical and mental health issues. If the case is complicated, they will then have to work with other pediatric specialists. For example, if the child has type 1 diabetes, they can refer the family to a pediatric endocrinologist.

When Is the Best Time to See a Pediatrician?

Baby having a checkup

Anytime is the best period to see a pediatrician. It should not be only when the child develops symptoms or “seems off.” In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends well-child visits.

The first one happens during the first week of the child, so the baby is between three and five days old. The following visits will then be in the following ages:

  • One month
  • Two months
  • Four months
  • Six months
  • Nine months
  • 12 months

After one year, the gap between each visit starts even to widen. The next doctor’s appointment will be when they reach 15 months old and then 18 months old. Starting from three years old, the pediatrician can see them once a year until they reach 21 years old.

What happens during these wellness visits? First, the pediatrician conducts a comprehensive physical and mental health assessment. They take note of the child’s medical history (including the family’s), sleep, diet, oral health, and behavior. They will also monitor the child’s growth or development, as well as update and review their immunization schedule.

APA also recommends specific types of screening or surveillance when they reach a particular age. For example, children between 18 and 24 months old can undergo a screening test for autism.

Once they become teens, the purpose of these visits will slightly change. They might focus more on risk reduction (e.g., safe sex and pregnancy), safety, and emotional well-being.

These visits are also an excellent opportunity for the parents to ask as many questions as they can about how to raise healthy children. In the same manner, the pediatrician can provide guidelines or detect health issues or abnormalities before they become worse.

How Else Can Pediatric Visits Help Children?

More studies highlight the critical role that pediatricians play in the health or well-being of children. One, they can prevent firearm-related injuries in the home.

Research published in Hospital Pediatrics revealed that there’s a difference between perception and reality when it comes to the frequency or accessibility of firearms to children. Many parents believe that these weapons are in safe storage. A good percentage of children, on the other hand, are more likely to have held them without their parents’ knowledge.

Pediatricians can use these wellness visits as opportunities to ask questions about firearm use, accessibility, and safety. The review suggested that families tend to be more open with their healthcare providers.

As soon as your baby is born, your relationship with a pediatrician begins. Use the information above to help you select the best one and know what to expect from their service.