Pediatric care is concerned with the growth, development and health of all children, from newborn infants to high schoolers. Children have different health care needs than adults do, as they hit milestone after milestone, and they tend to pick up a collection of minor injuries and illnesses throughout the years. A Primary Care Physician can care for a child, especially those over nine years of age. It is often more convenient to have one family doctor that will treat all family members, including children. It also allows for your child to have a continuity of care from childhood though adulthood.
What can a pediatric care can the family doctor cover?
- Monitor the development and growth of a child – The first few visits to the doctor often monitor the growth of the child. Eventually, the doctor will pay attention to a variety of markers that show the child is physically and mentally developing on time. Although there are plenty of growth and milestone charts that can provide some insight into the child’s development.
- Perform physical exams and provide important information – A Primary Care Physician may be the first line of health care when it comes to children. They can do provide needed physical exams, like eye, ear, nose and throat exams, as well as school physicals. But they can offer counsel and advice to parents during all stages of the child’s growth. For example, a family doctor can tell parents how much and what kind of exercise their child needs. They can provide insight into optimal nutrition and answer any questions parents may have about their little one. They can offer safety information for parents who are placing their children in sports.
- Administer vaccinations – Vaccines have to be provided on a set schedule to ensure their effectiveness. Vaccines are essential to safeguarding the child’s health from debilitating and life-threatening illnesses, and with a pediatrician providing the vaccine, it can be done safely. Vaccines are required for most school districts and for travel, so it’s something parents must pay attention to.
- Diagnose most physical maladies – A General Practitioner is able to detect and diagnose a variety of physical and mental illnesses and conditions. Accurate diagnosis is critical for ensuring the child is treated properly, as even something as simple as a fever can be a cause for concern in some cases. In many cases, if tests need to be ordered, the Primary Care Physician is able to get the tests ordered and get the child on the path to treatment.
- Refer the family to a reputable specialist – A pediatrician offers great breadth of knowledge in diagnosing and treating health problems, but sometimes a family needs a doctor who is a specialist in a particular area of medicine. A family doctor can help find specialists that will offer the kind of deeper testing and diagnosis that is occasionally needed. A family doctor can also help find specialists that are in their network, minimizing out-of-pocket costs.
Pediatric care is an important component of full spectrum family health care. Their advanced knowledge in treating children is important in ensuring a child grows up healthy and happy.