Children are not simply small adults. They have unique medical needs that require special care from a pediatrician – a doctor who has completed training in the specific health problems of infants, children, and adolescents. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children have a pediatrician they see regularly for checkups, even when a child is otherwise healthy.
Services a Pediatrician Offers
A pediatrician can provide comprehensive care for your child, including routine vaccinations, well-child visits, and sick-child visits. Your child’s pediatrician can even be a valuable resource for your questions or concerns about your child’s health and development.
Pediatric care for children may include the following:
- Sick visits – including cold/flu, minor wound care, wart removal, earwax buildup removal, and much more.
- Well-child visits – to confirm your child is healthy and meeting all the appropriate developmental milestones.
- Physicals & screenings – exams to ensure your child can safely participate in sports, camp, school, and more. Annual physicals focus on looking for the earliest signs of disease or illness.
- Immunizations– it is far easier to prevent a problem than to treat it. Your child’s pediatrician can assure your child has the vaccines they need at every time of life to protect them against dangerous diseases and illnesses.
- Vision & hearing tests – these screenings begin young! As they should, because being able to see and hear well can make all the difference in your child’s ability to learn. Screenings typically begin as a newborn, then regularly thereafter.
If your child appears to be having a life-threatening health emergency, call 911 or take them to the nearest emergency room. For non-emergency situations, you can usually call your child’s regular pediatrician for advice.
What Children’s Age Do Pediatricians See?
Pediatricians typically see patients from birth to age 18, although some of these doctors may see young adults up to age 21. Pediatricians work in a variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, clinics, and community health centers. Many pediatricians also work as researchers or educators.
At Westchester Park Pediatrics in Purchase, New York, we focus exclusively on children. For adolescent care, we partner with BridgeSpan Medicine next door for the care and treatment of youths 15-21 years of age.
Qualifications to Look for in a Pediatrician
There are many things to consider when choosing a pediatrician for your child. You want someone who is not only qualified and experienced but also someone you and your child feel comfortable with. Here are some important qualifications to look for in a potential pediatrician:
- Board-certified. Board certification from the American Board of Pediatrics is the gold standard in pediatric care. This means that the doctor has completed an accredited residency program and passed a rigorous exam.
- Fellowship training. Some pediatricians choose to undergo additional fellowship training in a particular area of interest, which increases the expertise of the doctor.
- Up to date on vaccine recommendations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues new recommendations every year, so you want to make sure your doctor is following them.
- Hospital privileges. Most pediatricians have hospital privileges, which allow them to admit and care for patients at a particular hospital. This is important in case your child ever needs to be hospitalized.
- Accepting new patients. You’ll want to make sure the pediatrician you choose is currently accepting new patients.
When looking for a pediatrician, it’s important to consider your own needs and preferences, as well. The board-certified, fellowship-trained pediatricians at Westchester Park Pediatrics have the education, training, and knowledge you need – along with the bedside manner your child will appreciate!
Find a Pediatrician Doctor Near You
Pediatricians are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of childhood illnesses, from minor health problems to serious diseases. They also provide preventive care, including immunizations and screenings to assure children are meeting their developmental milestones.
To ensure your child remains healthy, find a pediatrician near you that both you and your child like and trust. The board-certified, fellowship-trained pediatricians at Westchester Park Pediatrics in Purchase, New York, can help. Call us at (914) 761-1717 to schedule a visit – or request an appointment now.