Learn how to make the most out of your child’s appointment from scheduling to key questions to ask.
Annual pediatric visits are not only a time for your child to be examined and receive immunizations, they also provide the opportunity to ask questions to child’s care provider. We asked Renown Pediatrics Nurse Practitioner Pam Burgio how parents and caregivers can make the most of their child’s well visit.
What are some of the basic things parents should remember when getting ready for their child’s checkup?
Checkups are the best way to ensure your child is growing and developing as he or she should, and routine visits to a child’s care provider give parents the opportunity to learn how to keep their kids healthy and safe while asking any medical questions they may have.
Here are some basic things to remember when getting ready for a checkup:
- The timing of the appointment can be important. If the appointment is at nap or meal time, the child could be fussy and this can make for a rocky appointment.
- If you have a more detailed issue you’d like to discuss with the care provider, let the office staff know when you make the appointment so you have plenty of time to speak with the care provider.
- Write down any questions you have before the appointment so you don’t forget to ask them, and bring a paper and pen with you so you remember the answers after you leave.
What are some of the important questions parents should be asking?
Most importantly, alert your care provider if you have any concerns about your child. Here are some common questions to ask during the checkup:
Is my child growing and developing normally? Children do not all grow and develop at the same rate, which can make it difficult to know if your child is on track. Your care provider will be able to discuss where your child is currently, what they should be doing by the next well check and if there are any delays that need to be addressed.
Is my child a healthy weight? With childhood obesity on the rise, it is important to discuss your child’s weight, nutrition, activity level, and if necessary, weight loss goals, with your pediatrician.
Are my child’s immunizations current? Having up-to-date immunizations not only protects your child but helps protect those children who are not old enough, or unable to receive immunizations for health reasons.
What is my child’s current acetaminophen/ibuprofen dose? Acetaminophen and ibuprofen doses are based on weight and should be adjusted as your child grows. Overdosing on these medications can be a medical emergency. However, under-dosing may mean your child is not receiving the full benefit of the medication.
Do you have any suggestions for additional issues? This discussion can range from discipline to starting school, and from toilet training to sleep.
What about all the information available on the internet? It can be hard for a parent to tell what information is accurate, because so much on the web can often be misleading or incorrect. Always feel free to discuss the information you find online with your provider to determine what information is reliable. If you want to ask about a piece of advice you’ve heard, it will help for your care provider to know the source so you and your provider can make informed decisions on the information.