Five Questions to Ask Your Child’s Pediatrician

A visit to the pediatrician’s office is more than an opportunity to check on your child’s health. It’s a chance to gather valuable information about ways to maximize their well-being. While there are many things a parent can ask, be sure to ask these five questions during their next checkup.

Is My Child Developing Well?

Doctors who regularly treat children know what to watch for in terms of weight, height, behavior, social interaction, and other qualities. They know what milestones and measurements to look for that indicate if appropriate development is taking place or if they are on the right course. It’s important to remember that everyone develops at a different rate, and there’s a wide range of what’s considered healthy and thriving. While the chances are that your kid is doing well, an experienced pediatrician can tell you if any areas need improvement and can make recommendations accordingly.

Is He or She up to Date on Vaccines?

Protecting your child against outbreaks of disease is important. From polio to mumps and measles to chickenpox, vaccines can prevent your children from contracting these painful, debilitating illnesses. A checkup is a good time to find out if everyone is up to date on all the required vaccines. Be aware that, when moving from one state to another, the requirements may differ. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) update their vaccination recommendations from time to time. If your child is traveling in the near future, she or he may need to be vaccinated for diseases present in the countries they may be visiting.

What Should I Expect During the Next Stage of Development?

It’s helpful to know in advance what to expect during the next stage of your child’s development. Again, it’s important to remember that milestones vary from one child to the next. However, knowing what to expect can enable you to work on skills at home to help with development. In many different areas, from speech to coordination, individual exercises and activities can promote development.

How Can Healthy Foods Best Be Introduced to Her or His Diet?

Pediatricians are resourceful when it comes to nutrition and can make dietary recommendations. As kid experts, they can also offer suggestions on how to successfully introduce healthy new foods into your child’s diet, making mealtimes less of a battle. The nurse or clinic can point to online or community resources that can assist, and the medical team can caution against possible food allergies.

How Can I Make Exercise More Fun?

Some parents feel their children should get more exercise. Pediatricians can assess a child’s health and determine if any additional physical activity is warranted. They can also offer suggestions for fitting exercise into busy schedules and how to make it fun. By turning exercise into a game, children are more willing to take part.

Don’t be afraid to ask other questions that may come to mind. Write a few things down beforehand and have them ready to ask when the opportunity presents itself. Most importantly, remember that pediatricians are happy to help.