You already know that the pediatrician helps your child to feel better when she's sick and keeps her health through well visits. But, what else can the pediatric doctor do? Check out these not-so-obvious services that pediatric doctors offer!
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a set schedule of immunizations, beginning at birth and continuing through early adulthood. These include vaccines for illnesses such as Hepatitis A and B, the mumps, measles, rotavirus, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, pneumonia and rubella. Pediatricians offer the full-range of vaccines and will keep your child's schedule up to date. You can also get your child an annual flu shot to protect him each year.
Are you concerned that potty training isn't going as smoothly as you'd hoped for? Maybe your preschooler isn't exactly interested in socializing yet? While these aren't illness-related issues, they cause you concern. The pediatrician is ready and available to talk about these (and other) developmental questions. If you didn't bring up these concerns during an annual check-up, you can always call the office or schedule a separate visit for a discussion.
A vision screening should be part of your child's routine care, notes the American Academy of Family Physicians. During her regular check-up, the doctor can test your child's vision and make recommendations if a specialist is needed. Keep in mind, while this type of screening can catch obvious issues (such as the inability to see far away), you need to see an eye doctor regularly as well. The eye doctor can take what the pediatrician finds and go more in-depth or prescribe glasses.
Routine health care also includes regular hearing tests. Like vision screening, testing your child at the pediatrician's office is a basic or first-step way of catching problems. If the doctor does find a problem, it's likely that the office will refer you to an audiologist or a hearing specialist.
Your child's doctor does much more than test reflexes, do throat cultures and hand out prescriptions. From keeping up on recommended immunizations to testing your child's senses, the pediatrician offers an array of services all in one convenient place. Before you start scheduling dozens of specialist appointments, start at the pediatrician's office. Your child can get basic care and screenings that will tell you if further attention is necessary. In the event that the doc suggests a specialist, you can also get a referral during your office visit.