As a parent, you want to do your best to ensure the health and safety of your child. This includes engaging with medical professionals for regular check-ups and more specialized appointments. Below is a list of six medical professionals you may get to know when your children are young.
A pediatrician is a type of doctor with specialized training in children’s health, including physical, mental and social aspects.
Pediatricians could be the doctor your children have until they’re 18 years old, so finding one that is generally knowledgeable and compassionate will be crucial to maintaining your loved one’s health. As your child gets older, their care will eventually transfer to a family physician.
2. Family doctor
Like a pediatrician, a family doctor can also care for babies and young children. They perform similar tasks, including routine check-ups and immunizations; they also treat patients of other ages.
While a pediatrician specializes in caring for young children, family physicians have knowledge that spans the entire life span.
An optometrist specializes in the health of the eye. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), you should visit your optometrist for your child’s first appointment between six and 12 months old.
It’s recommended that your child gets a comprehensive eye exam between the age of three and five to check for any eye conditions that could have long-term effects. Finally, your optometrist will want to see your child every year, starting before first grade, for regular eye exams.
A dentist can help to diagnose and treat oral health conditions. It’s recommended that your child sees a dentist by 12 months of age or within six months of getting their first tooth.
On the first visit, your dentist will typically examine your child’s teeth, jaw, bite, gums and oral tissue. They will also discuss proper brushing and flossing techniques and may discuss the need for fluoride. Depending on your child’s age and needs, the dentist might also perform a gentle cleaning. After the first visit, your dentist will want to see your child every six months.
If you suspect your child has allergies or food sensitivities, your primary care physician might refer you to an allergist.
An allergist, also known as an immunologist, is a doctor that specializes in treating allergies, asthma and other disorders related to immunology. You might bring your child to an allergist to test for allergies or asthma.
6. Urgent care physician
While no parent wants to visit urgent care or the ER with their child, it’s a common occurrence. Whether for an injury, burn, or illness, your child may have to see an urgent care provider.
Depending on your child’s ailment or illness, you might also consider booking an appointment through urgent care telehealth. If your child is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, has body aches, a sinus infection or a sore throat, a telehealth appointment can help prevent a visit to the pediatrician or a costly trip to the emergency department.
Keeping your young children healthy
Access to a team of medical professionals can help you monitor your child’s health as they grow. In addition to a family physician or pediatrician, it’s nice to know you can access quality care anytime you need it through urgent care telehealth. Besides 24/7 access, there are many benefits of telehealth, including cost and time savings, convenience and the comfort of not having to leave your home.