I’ve always said everyone needs a mechanic and a doctor in their family. I’ve got the mechanic, but not the doctor. But I am lucky enough to have my college roommate and life long friend who is a pediatrician. And I’m still apologizing for the countless texts, phone calls, and freak-outs she has received from me over the years. After all those times in college I tried to get her to stop studying and go out with me, I’m really glad she chose studying. So I asked her, what are some things that you wish your patients parent’s knew? Here’s what she said:
What Your Pediatrician Wants You to Know:
1. Get your child the flu shot.
Starting at age 6 months you can vaccinate your child for the flu. It is a shot for 6 months to 3 years and a mist for 3 years and older. The shot for your baby is not a live vaccine. If your child gets sick after vaccination it is just your body fighting off the foreign substance – it is not the flu.
2. When your child has a fever, do not rush them to the doctor.
If your child comes down with a fever, treat it for a day. A lot of times the fever will break, and if it’s something more, it takes at least 24 hours for those symptoms to show up so your doctor can make an even better diagnosis with more information other than she/he has a fever. If you do rush them to the doctor, know you are putting them at risk for contracting more because doctor offices are full of sick kids in the winter.
3. Make your kids wash their hands.
This seems like a no-brainer but your really do have to be intentional about it. My pediatrician friend said she became really intentional with making her children wash their hands when they came home from school especially and she has seen a difference in their wellness since she instituted this. Schools are germ conventions. The simple task of washing your hands while singing the ABC’s can send them down the drain and out of your home.
Our kids will get sick. There is no way around it. But these are a few things we can do to decrease the co-pays this winter.