Your child will encounter numerous medical professionals during their life. These doctors help ensure that your child lives a long and healthy life and answer any questions you may have about your child’s health. Here’s a rundown of the doctors your child will need:
Paediatrician or family physician
Children’s health doctors are specially trained to care for kids. They know how to treat common childhood illnesses and injuries, as well as how to prevent them. They also “serve as a guide for parents, providing anticipatory guidance and advice on everything from nutrition and sleep to safety and behaviour.” That being the case, the choice between a family physician, a paediatrician, or a general practitioner is yours to make. All of them rank among the best doctors for children and have similar training to meet children’s needs, including:
· Administering immunizations
· Monitoring the growth and development of your child
· Offering annual physical exams and disease care
· Treatment of common illnesses
Most people opt for a paediatrician, especially if the child is in their youngest years. However, if you have a family physician you trust, they can provide the same services, and the child could be with the same doctor their entire life.
Your child should see a dentist by their first birthday or within six months after the appearance of their first tooth. After that, they should visit the dentist every six months. A paediatric dentist is specially trained to work with kids, and they’re equipped to handle the unique dental needs of children. They can also offer advice on how to care for your child’s teeth and help you spot any potential problems early on.
Ophthalmologist or Optometrist
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specialises in eye care, while an optometrist is a doctor of optometry. Both are qualified to provide primary eye care, including vision testing and prescribing glasses or contact lenses. Your child should have their first eye exam at six months old and then again at three years old. After that, they should have an exam every two to four years until they turn 18. If your child has a family history of vision problems, you may want to take them for more frequent exams.
Depending on your child’s health, they may also need to see other specialists. These could include:
Allergist: If a child develops asthma, allergies, or eczema, they may need to see an allergist. An allergist performs skin prick tests and blood tests to determine what a child is allergic to, and they can advise you on how to manage allergies.
Cardiologist: A child with a heart condition may need to see a cardiologist. A cardiologist is a medical doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating heart conditions.
Endocrinologist: A child with a hormone disorder may need to see an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist is a medical doctor who specialises in hormones and the endocrine system.
Gastroenterologist: A gastroenterologist is a medical doctor who specialises in the digestive system. A child with a digestive disorder may need to see a gastroenterologist.
These are some essential doctors your child will need to see to maintain good health. Of course, every child is different, and you know your child best. If you have any concerns about your child’s health, don’t hesitate to reach out to a medical professional.