As a parent, you are your child's advocate. This includes during their visits with a pediatrician. It is your responsibility to speak for their needs and make sure the doctor is properly filled in on their health and health challenges. Speaking for someone else is not always easy — especially in a sometimes-stressful environment like the doctor's office. Here are some tips that will help you, as a parent, better communicate with your young child's pediatrician.
Don't be afraid to call or email.
You do not need to make an appointment or stop by the office every time you have a question. Pediatricians know that parents are sure to have questions and concerns about their children's health, so they are usually very willing to address those questions over the phone. If you call or send an email as soon as a concern comes up, you won't have to remember to ask that question during your child's next appointment. Asking over the phone or via email also gives you the chance to ask follow-up questions if you need more information.
Write it down before you go.
Often, you'll step into the doctor's office knowing what you need to ask and what you need to report. But holding your child still, keeping them calm, and answering their many questions, can take your attention and distract you from asking. This is why it's smart to write down questions and information for the pediatrician beforehand. You can even write down a list of your child's symptoms prior to a sick visit if you're worried you'll forget them! The more information you can give to the doctor, the better able they will be to care for your child.
Be open to new and unfamiliar ideas.
These days, so many parents research their child's symptoms online before a doctor's appointment. One challenge with this approach is that your child's doctor may suggest something you hadn't previously considered. However, your pediatrician is the one who is trained to diagnose and treat kids, and they're the medical professional who is seeing your child in person. Therefore, their opinion can be very valuable to your unique situation. Listening to your child's physician is a key component of good communication. If you want to share information you found online with your pediatrician, feel free — but be open to them offering a different suggestion for any number of reasons.
Hopefully, you have picked up on some tips to help you better communicate with your child's doctor. Speaking for someone else can take some getting used to, but your little one will benefit from your efforts. For more information about working with a child doctor, reach out to a local pediatric clinic.