The Importance of Building a Trusting Relationship with Your Child’s Pediatrician

A woman pediatrician talking with a patient and her mother.

Your pediatrician is likely the first resource you consult when you want to know about your child’s health. You might ask them about nutrition, feeding, diaper and toilet habits, and growth and development.

In order to get the answers you need and feel confident and secure in your choice of a pediatrician, it’s crucial to have a strong relationship with them. Here’s why strengthening communication between you and your child’s doctor matters.

The Impact of Consistent Pediatric Care on Children’s Health

You might wonder, “Does my child need one pediatrician for their entire childhood?” The answer is backed by research and long-term studies on children’s well-being.

Children who consistently see a familiar pediatrician have better health outcomes and fewer hospital admissions. Access to reliable, consistent pediatric care has been shown to improve health and well-being over a child’s lifespan.

You might be hearing this information for the first time, and that’s okay. As the field of pediatrics expands and becomes more robust with information, experts are constantly learning new things.

Pediatric care is some of the most important care your child will ever receive — ensure it’s routine and consistent.

The Origins of Adult Health Start in Childhood

“Continuous and coordinated” care during childhood seems to predict health in adulthood. If you want what’s best for your child’s entire life, starting with a good pediatrician is best.

Many adult health problems, like obesity, tobacco use, and other lifestyle issues, can be prevented with routine pediatric care. Pediatricians are highly skilled and trained to prevent and address these issues starting at birth.

What About Chronically Ill Children?

Chronic illness can be complicated for anyone, but especially children. You might find yourself scheduling appointments with several different specialists in different fields. However, primary pediatric care is still important.

Children with conditions like asthma, diabetes, and other long-term illnesses fare better when their parents have a reliable connection with their pediatricians.

How to Improve Your Relationship with Your Pediatrician

You might not know much about your child’s pediatrician. Maybe you communicate only when necessary. Perhaps you don’t have one consistent pediatrician at all.

All of these issues are fixable. Proper communication can build a stable, trusting relationship with the physician in control of your child’s care.

Discuss Family Health History

Family health history is significant in your child’s long-term care. Your pediatrician should know about any genetic or lifestyle problems within your family — these can dictate your child’s health outcomes later on.

When talking about your family health history, be clear and direct. Discuss any known health conditions in your family — don’t hold back. Your pediatrician might catch some red flags that you haven’t thought about.

Get to Know Your Pediatrician

This might seem obvious, but getting to know your child’s doctor is important! Any good pediatrician will be happy to share information about themselves, their qualifications, and their treatment methods.

Knowing more about your pediatrician can help you gauge whether they fit you and your child. You know what your child needs, and you’re their advocate at the end of the day.

Call the Pediatrician First

Unless your child suffers from a dire medical emergency, always call their pediatrician first. Any new symptoms or health problems should be reported to the pediatrician as soon as possible — this will help them keep up with your child’s health.

Having a primary care physician (PCP) for your child is so important because it means you always have a medical provider on your team. It can get exhausting telling and retelling your child’s story to several professionals.

Some pediatricians even have online portals that allow you to message them 24/7. You might not get a response immediately, but at least the pediatrician will remain up to speed on your child’s health.

Find a Long-Term Pediatrician for Your Family

Your family is the most important part of your life; understandably, you want a trustworthy physician for your children.

Whether you’re looking for a pediatric pulmonologist or a doctor who can do routine checkups, you should seek out a consistent provider for your child. The benefits start right away and continue up until your child grows into a healthy, well-rounded adult.