Whether you are pregnant currently, or planning to get pregnant soon, one of the biggest decisions that parents have to make before the baby is born is deciding upon which Houston Pediatrician is best. Of course, making this decision is a bit easier when you understand what exactly a pediatrician does and what you should expect.
Pediatricians are responsible for managing the health of your child including any physical issues, behavioral issues, and mental health issues. A pediatrician is trained to not only diagnose but treat all childhood issues ranging from minor health concerns to more serious diseases.
Obviously, you want to make sure that you have a board-certified pediatrician on your side. To stay certified pediatricians are required to undergo regular educational requirements and pass rigorous examinations administered by the American Board of Pediatrics. It is this extra education that enhances their already specialized skills.
What Does A Pediatrician Do?
Your Houston Pediatrician will see your child on multiple occasions from the time they are born until they reach the age of five, though this is a rough time frame. Between the ages of birth and two years, you have to go to the pediatrician regularly. As your child grows from the ages of two years until five years, they will need regular checkups.
Once they reach five years old, they still have to see the pediatrician for annual checkups. Obviously, this is who you call every time your child is sick. To take good care of your child, your pediatrician will conduct physical exams, administer vaccinations, and make sure your child is meeting growth milestones and behavioral milestones.
They will also diagnose and treat any illnesses, injuries, or infections. It is the job of your pediatrician to give you information about safety, nutrition, fitness, and health for your child. Not only that, but they are there to answer any questions you have about development and growth. If your child needs some form of expert care, a specialist can be referred.
Before your baby is born, your pediatrician will work with your delivery team. Many hospitals require you to have a pediatrician when you start delivering your baby. The reason for this is that the first examination might take place at the hospital by a hospital pediatrician, or the one you have selected. As soon as your baby is born, it needs to be a series of examinations conducted. After your baby leaves the hospital, the pediatrician has to see them again about 48 to 72 hours later.
So, Why Do You Need A Pediatrician?
If you have a family medicine doctor that you already use, you can choose to use that doctor for your new child. These doctors cover the health of kids and adults alike. It is a personal choice to utilize a pediatrician or stick with the doctor you already have. Some of the reasons that you might want to consider using a pediatrician rather than a generic family medicine doctor is that a pediatrician has special training specifically for children’s health.
A family medicine doctor does have adequate training but not nearly as specialized. It pediatrician only sees children, so most of their experience is in recognizing and treating childhood problems. Again, a family medicine doctor might be able to recognize the more common issues, but since they also see adults, their specialty is split. Most importantly, if your child was a premature baby or they were born with a health condition that requires regular monitoring, a pediatrician might be the better option because they can provide more specialized care.
Obviously, when evaluating different pediatricians, you should meet with them, talk with them, and make sure they are someone with whom you are comfortable. If for whatever reason you are not comfortable with the physician in question, you can always switch at any given time to a different practitioner in your area.
You will need to make sure that the person you select is easily reachable, not just regarding communication but regarding location. Picking a pediatrician who is a few hours away might not be in your best interest if there is an emergency situation.