What Does a Pediatrician Do?

Pediatricians are doctors with medical degrees that specialize in treating babies, children and young adults. They can also deal with pregnancy and conception issues and focus on an individual‘s physical and mental needs. Pediatricians help diagnose medical conditions in children and young people and are trained to understand the rapid physical growth and mental and hormonal changes in a young person as they grow up. Many pediatricians are the primary care providers, with parents taking the children to a pediatricians if they have any concerns about their child’s health. Here at Pediatrics of Sugarland, we understand that the medical field can be confusing, so to help you out, we have our basic guide to pediatricians for you to read.

What Can Pediatricians Do?

As pediatricians specialise in children and young people, and not a particular area of the body, they are trained to complete a diverse range of medical treatment and services that range from routine physical exams to managing serious medical conditions. They are trained to treat injuries such as dislocations and fractures and can diagnose previously unknown conditions in your child. Pediatricians can also give vaccinations and prescribe medication such as pain relief and antibiotics. As children develop at such a fast pace, pediatricians also evaluate development in a child, from physical development to social and emotional development. If a pediatrician is concerned or dealing with a difficult medical condition in a child, they can also connect families with other specialists who can step in when needed.

These specialist pediatricians focus not only on children but also on a particular medical focal point such as the heart (pediatric cardiologist) or the brain (pediatric neurologist). These experts will have advanced knowledge on their area of focus and experience in treating children in this setting. They will also be trained in specific procedures and diagnostic tests. This is great as not only is the pediatric specialist an expert in their area, but they will also know how to talk and engage with children, putting them more at ease during daunting medical appointments. Usually accessing these doctors requires a referral from a primary care pediatrician.

What Qualifications Does A Pediatrician Have?

Pediatricians must be registered as doctors and must have undergone extensive training and education before they start treating children. In order to become a pediatrician, the American Board of Pediatrics states that they must complete a residency program in the pediatric sector for three years after completion of normal medical school.

After their three-year residency, pediatricians have a choice – they can either become a primary care pediatrician at a general care practice, or they can undertake additional training and enter programs that will allow them to become pediatric specialists in a particular area of medicine.

Instead of simply googling ‘pediatrician near me’, check that any pediatrician you may choose is not only qualified, but also licensed. Pediatricians must also be licensed in the state that they are practicing in – this process may differ slightly from state to state. In addition to this, a pediatrician can become board-certified. This is a great certification for your pediatrician to have as it means that they undergo continuous courses and education throughout their careers to keep them updated in their medical knowledge. Our Sugar Land Pediatricians are experienced professionals that are constantly undertaking training to learn more and become aware of the latest medical knowledge.

When Should I Take My Child To See A Pediatrician?

There are many reasons to take your child to an appointment with a pediatrician. Firstly, it is important to take your child for general physicals to make sure that they are well. These are check-ups where the pediatrician can answer any questions you may have, check all vital measurements, enquire about eating and sleeping habits and potentially give vaccinations if they are necessary.

These check-ups can be important as many developmental issues are identified during routine checkups and many medical conditions can be more easily managed or treated if caught early on. These visits should occur often throughout the first year of a child’s life and about twice a year from the age of one onwards.

Next, if a parent or caregiver is concerned about their child’s health or notices any unexpected changes, they should make an appointment with the pediatrician, just as they would a doctor if they were feeling unwell. The pediatrician will then be able to ask questions and examine the patient to try and identify any medical issues.

If however there is a medical emergency, or your child has a fever of over 104 degrees or is having seizures or trouble bleeding, the child should be taken directly to the emergency room. The emergency room will treat any issues and pass any information on to your pediatrician for their records to help facilitate any aftercare that is required.

What About Teenagers?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, pediatricians can treat young people throughout their teenage years and adolescence. This can be up to around the age of 21. There are some pediatricians who specialize in the treatment of teenagers, and some teens may feel more comfortable attending these appointments. It is not mandatory however to keep attending a pediatrician until the age of 21 however, with some insurance companies not funding pediatric care after the age of 18. If this is the case, ask your pediatrician for recommendations of adult physicians to take over as your primary care specialist.

To Summarize

A pediatrician is simply a doctor who specializes in treating children and young adults. Pediatricians can work as general practitioners, or they can specialize in a particular area. Pediatricians can work with children from before they are born, all the way up to the age of 21. It is at this stage when a person transitions to a general doctor for their medical needs. Sugar Land Pediatrics provides the highest-quality care, offering individualized treatment to all our patients. If you are looking for a pediatrician in Sugar Land TX, then contact us today – we would love to meet you!

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