A pediatric physician is a doctor that specializes in treating children. If you're not sure when your child needs to see a pediatric physician, here are three instances it's a good idea.
1. Your Child Needs A Well Checkup
Children that are between the ages of 4 and 21 should have a well child checkup once a year. If your child is younger than 4, they will need a well child checkup more often. During this type of checkup, a pediatric physician will take your child's medical history, perform a comprehensive exam, and ask any necessary questions. A pediatric physician may also recommend the following tests and screenings for your child:
- Development screening
- Hearing screening
- Blood pressure screening
- Anemia screening
If your child needs immunizations, these will be given during the checkup. These checkups allow a pediatric physician to detect any health issues early on, which makes them easier to treat.
2. Your Child Is Experiencing Certain Symptoms
Along with well child checkups, a pediatric physician also offers sick office visits. A sick office visit is the kind of appointment you'll need to make if your child is experiencing symptoms of an illness. In some cases, it can be hard to know when to take your child to the pediatrician. Many sicknesses and ailments will go away on their own. However, you should take your child to a pediatric physician if your child experiences any of the following symptoms:
- High fever
- Vomiting and diarrhea that won't stop
- Skin rashes that won't go away
- Constant need to urinate
- Sharp belly pain
- Trouble waking up
You should also take your child to a pediatric physician if they show any signs of dehydration. These signs include dark urine, not enough urine output, cracked lips, and crankiness. If your child's symptoms seem emergent, you should call your pediatric physician as they might recommend taking your child to urgent care or the ER.
3. Your Child Wants to Play Sports
If your child wants to play sports, most states will require them to have a sports physical. A sports physical is a type of exam in which a pediatric physician assess whether it's safe for a child to play a certain sport.
If your child has a medical condition, such as asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, or a congenital heart defect, the pediatric physician may recommend that the child not participate in contact sports. A pediatric physician will also inquire about recent hospitalizations and surgeries, as well as evaluate the child's strength and flexibility. Look for a pediatric physician for your child.