How Often Should a Child Visit a Pediatrician?

Your pediatrician is your partner when it comes to the wellbeing and health of your child. It’s not possible for a child to determine whether they are healthy or sick. You may also not know when your child is developing a health problem. However, such things can be detected and dealt with early when your child sees a pediatrician more often.

When most health problems are detected and treated early, the health and normal development of a child remains on track. This ensures that your child has a happy and healthy life.

But, how often do you have to take your child for pediatrician visits? A pediatrician focuses on promoting the wellness of your child. Therefore, don’t reserve pediatrician visits to when the child falls sick only. Consider your pediatrician as a useful resource that will keep your child healthy.

So, How Often Should a Child Visit a Pediatrician?

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, your child should make 7 well-child visits from the age of 1 to 4 years.

These should be spaced as follows:

  • 12 months
  • 15 months
  • 18 months
  • 24 months
  • 30 months
  • 3 years
  • 4 years

After hitting 4 years, your child should see a pediatrician every year for annual check-up. But, bear in mind the fact that this is a general recommendation. A child may need to see a pediatrician more often especially if their health is a concern.

Importance of Well-Child Visits

Most sicknesses and health problems can be prevented with regular pediatrician visits. Basically, you should not wait until your child has a health problem to take them to a pediatrician. Instead, work with the pediatrician to ensure the overall wellbeing and health of your child.

A pediatrician identifies most health problems during regular visits. They also keep the development and growth of a child on track. Thus, if your child has developmental problems or delays, they can be identified and corrected early.

So, if you have not been taking your child to a pediatrician more often consider doing so for their overall wellbeing and health.

How to Become a Pediatrician

A pediatrician is responsible for maintaining the wellbeing and health of children. This is a very important job in every country. However, becoming a pediatrician is not easy. The reward of pursuing what you love and taking care of children is worth the amount of time you invest in it.

Undergraduate Studies

As a graduate that has pursued a bachelor’s degree from a recognized and accredited university, you can become a pediatrician. Many learners opt for premed majors. However, it’s possible to pursue pediatrician studies with any major. You just need to attend classes that make you ready to seat for the Medical College Admission Test.

Such classes include genetics, biology, chemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, physics, organic chemistry and math. Most medical schools prefer well-rounded applicants. Therefore, spend time doing volunteer work that involves children to show that you are really interested in this field.

Medical School

A pediatrician has to graduate from a medical school with accreditation. The focus of the first 2 years at the school is on basic skills. The other two years focus on hands-on patient practice. The last 2 years entail choosing pediatrics as a specialty. As a student, you have to pursue the necessary courses in your field. In the last year at the medical school, students engage in elective rotations that happen in different locations within the country.

Residency

Once you are done with medical school, you apply for pediatrics residency at a hospital. To become a pediatrician, you need a 3 year accredited residency. You study various outpatient and inpatient methods, pediatric illnesses, and different forms of pediatric care including neonatal intensive care and acute care.

Residency training is usually difficult at the beginning because you will be responsible for very sick children. You also have to work for a long duration of up to 100 hours per week and earn a minimal salary.

Certification

To be certified, a pediatrician has to take the General Pediatrics Certifying Examination. A degree from a medical school, training in pediatric residence and medicine practice license are required to sit this examination. The exam takes one day or seven hours of multiple-choice test.

The Job Outlook for Pediatricians

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that physicians’ employment will generally grow by 24% by 2020. This growth rate is faster than that of the average jobs. Therefore, there is a positive outlook for physicians’ employment including that of pediatricians.

How to Choose Your Child’s Pediatrician

A pediatrician is a healthcare professional with special training in the illnesses and health of children since birth to adolescence and young adulthood. Most pediatricians have certification to prove their qualifications. By the time your child reaches middle school, you have most likely found a pediatrician that you would like to attend to their healthcare needs. Nevertheless, there are cases that may compel you to get a new pediatrician for your child. For instance, your pediatrician can retire or you can relocate with your family. Such circumstances may require you to get a new pediatrician for your child. Here are tips to help you.

Start the Search Early

It’s wise to start looking for a pediatrician early. For instance, when moving out of town or when expecting a baby, start the search for a new pediatrician early. This is very important because once you get a baby, moving around looking for a pediatrician might not be easy. The process may be daunting. However, remember that the pediatrician you choose will play a significant role in ensuring the health and happiness of your child.

Conduct Research

Conduct an extensive research before you make a choice. This includes getting recommendations from friends, colleagues, and relatives. But, remember that a pediatrician that one kid likes might not be the best for your child. Therefore, take time to conduct your research. You can also talk to your health insurance provider and visit different pediatrician offices.

Schedule a Face-to-Face Meeting

Once you have identified prospective pediatricians, set up a face-to-face meeting. When scheduling an appointment, ask whether the pediatrician charges a fee for it. Such charges are not covered by health insurance. During your meeting with the pediatrician, ask relevant questions. For instance, find out more about the availability of the pediatrician. Also inquire whether the pediatrician works alone or with other professionals.

Basically, these are just some of the tips to help you choose your child’s pediatrician. It’s also crucial to consider the proximity of the pediatrician that you choose to make regular visits easier. Also read reviews of different pediatricians before you make your final decision.

How to Recognize Symptoms of Autism in a Child

Today, autism affects numerous children, and there are various levels of severity as well. There are many possibilities of the cause of autism such as environmental, time of exposure, and genetics however nothing is quite determined to be the culprit. Recent studies have shown that approximately 1 in every 100 children will have autism. Autism in children is usually diagnosed at around the age of three or before.

There are times where signs and symptoms of autism can go unrecognized by the parents if they are not very obvious. Asperger is one of those high functioning autism types that do not show symptoms that are very obvious, apart from that; the classic autism signs are somewhat visible. There are ways to pick up these signs and symptoms of autism regardless of which type of autism the child has.  It is imperative to diagnose autism as early as possible that’s why parents need to be more informed about this disorder.

Socialization

Social skills that are affected by autism include poor eye contact, failure to respond to their name, appear to ignore you, don’t want to be cuddled or held, prefer to play alone. Your child may also be sensitive to lights and sounds that are louder than usual. They may also find it difficult to interact with others and usually withdraw when a lot of family or friends are around them.

Language

Language skills that are affected by autism include no talking after the age of two years old even though the child may have already spoken some words, they may loses what language they have developed over the years. An autistic child usually has one tome with their voice when they speak, almost like a robot.

Behavior

Behavior skills that are affected by autism include they may be slow in their movements, performing repetitive motions, for example, rocking, may yell out or get loud, may demonstrate signs of frustration when their schedule is not kept, moves around always, and is fascinated by parts of a moving object. They are also very sensitive to touch.

Summary

Many researchers and health care providers believe that autistic features can be seen in babies. Immediately parents see any possible symptoms of autism in their child; they should get it diagnosed as quickly as possible. By taking a quick step can help the child get treatment at an earlier age and improve the child’s life. Normally, children with autism are diagnosed by the age of three, though some may be earlier.

Early treatment is the best for both the child and parent although there is no cure for autism. There are many clinical and research studies being analyzed to help health care providers, educators and parents come up with better solutions to treat and manage it. Everyone agrees that acknowledging the signs of autism and getting early preventative care is necessary for a child’s development. And for this reason, every parent should be ahead in recognizing the signs and symptoms of autism.