If the only time your child sees their pediatrician is when they’re experiencing unusual pain, discomfort or illness, then they’re missing out on regular well-child visits. Often, the routine visits, like annual check-ups around the child’s birthday, are vitally important to raising a healthy child, pediatricians say.
Pediatricians in Paris are busy — so busy, in fact, it can take weeks to get an appointment scheduled. That’s why it’s important for parents to plan ahead. Speak with a local pediatrician’s office months before an annual checkup is needed so it’s not put off further by a long waiting list.
The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners says the purpose of wellness visits is to “help families keep children healthy as well as to pick up early signs of potential problems.” For instance, pediatricians might pick up on signs of a physical or mental disorder. Spotting these early in development can be key to better treatment.
Tracking a child’s growth and development also is an important factor, and it’s something your pediatrician will do as part of the wellness visits. The pediatrician will check the child to be sure his or her growth is on track. Following up with immunizations, another beneficial part of the checkups, will help prevent children from catching certain illnesses.
Local pediatricians include Drs. Eric Salzman, Martin Thomas Cutrell and Clifford Scott. All three can be found at Primary Care Associates, 3150 Clarksville St. in Paris.
Although pediatricians stop seeing children at the age of 18, some teenagers feel more comfortable moving on to a regular physician. Often that arises because of more “adult” issues, like talking about mental health, birth control, tattoo infections or alcohol abuse. The view that pediatricians are “kid doctors” can jade a patient’s opinion, but pediatricians are not lacking in the ability to handle such cases.
Pediatricians, like their family physician counterparts, are highly trained in all medical areas and it can be extremely beneficial to have the same doctor who has built a relationship with the patient since childhood to help them deal.