The importance of pediatric care
Excellent medical care is paramount for infants and children, and their care is a specialty of pediatric doctors. Pediatric medical professionals undergo an additional two or more years of medical training specifically for treating kids. Everything from the design and features of their office to the training and attitude of their staff makes pediatric doctors the top choice for parents and kids.
Leading with the best experiences
As parents, we want our children to get the best care they can, and we also want our kids to learn to trust their medical professionals. A trip to the doctor or the dentist can be a daunting experience, and having a stressful trip to the doctor while they’re young could potentially lead them to avoid treatment as an adult, even when they know they need it.
Taking your child to a pediatric care provider can ensure that they experience the best possible care while they’re still impressionable about doctors and dentists. Your pediatric doctors will know how to talk to you and your child, as well as what to advise. You can trust them for the best overall health or oral hygiene tips for kids.
Here’s how you can make the most of your child’s experience with pediatric medical professionals.
Share what to expect
Giving your child a positive, honest, and up-front view of what to expect can go a long way toward helping them feel comfortable. Walk them through the basics of what a doctor or dentist visit entails, with little details they can look forward to.
At a doctor’s visit, for example, they may expect to have their temperature taken, the doctor might listen to their heart rate, or they may be in for a vaccine. At the dentist, they may have x-rays taken, their teeth checked and cleaned, or need a filling if they have a dental cavity.
Knowing what check-ups or treatments your child will experience is a big part of preparing for their first dentist visit or doctor visit. If you’re not sure, call up their office to ask.
Ask about kid-friendly care
Great pediatric care is in the details. Of course, not all providers are equal, and little touches can go a long way to help your child feel at ease. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for in a pediatric doctor’s office or dental clinic:
- Waiting room perks. Practices that cater to kids often have toys, coloring books, or children’s magazines in the waiting area. While it may sound simple, perks like these help set the stage for a calm, relaxed appointment, right from the start.
- Kid-friendly design. While a cold, clinical environment might feel professional, warm or bright colors, patterned dental aprons, and other kid-friendly touches help remind your child that they’re in a safe and welcoming environment.
- Treatments that feel like treats. Little incentives like bubble gum flavored fluoride or a brand-new toothbrush at the end of the visit can help turn a boring trip to the dentist into an adventure. Consider a fun out outing following your visit to make the memories even better.
While a good doctor means a lot to look forward to, not every aspect of a trip is necessarily fun. Helping your child understand that parts of a booster shot or teeth cleaning, for instance, might feel a little strange or uncomfortable, but that it’s temporary and important for their health, will help them feel cared for.
As adults, young children look to us first to know how to react. If we’re not concerned about upcoming treatment, neither will our kids.
Get familiar with common health and dental issues
Having a basic understanding of likely health conditions or common children’s teeth problems will help prepare you for what may come up at your child’s appointment. If you’re seeking care for something other than a routine check-up, be sure to make good notes regarding the issue. While over-researching beforehand may not be necessary (or helpful), it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basics so that you can provide good support before, during, and after the visit.
Preparing yourself with good information will help make you a valued resource, both for the doctor and for your child.
Teach the importance of good pediatric care
Healthy habits are formed young, and every check-up is an opportunity to instill the value of personal wellness. You can provide good examples at home, by offering little rewards for good dental hygiene, sharing healthy snacks, or by making tooth brushing and flossing a morning or evening bonding exercise. By demonstrating that good health is important to you, you’ll create an environment in which your child understands the significance of good health from the get-go, and in which daily health habits become second nature.
With a little preparation and research, you’re sure to find the best pediatric care for your child, and with a little creativity, you’ll set the stage for a lifetime of wellbeing and healthy habits.
Aaron Smith is an LA-based content strategies and consultant in support of STEM firms and medical practices. He covers industry developments and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, Aaron enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and sci-fi novels.