parent pediatrician checklist infographic

How to Prepare for a Visit to Your Pediatrician

As parents and caregivers of children, there is much to prepare for in taking your kids to the doctor. Besides the task of getting them out the door and to the doctor, you will often have a number of questions about your child’s condition, health issues, and treatment plan.  Smyrna Pediatrics has created a guide for you that is in a quick checklist type form. Our goal is to make the visit as informative and comfortable for you and your child as possible. Many parents have opted to print this out as a reminder to review prior to visiting the pediatrician or other physician.

Steps to a Great Visit with Your Pediatrician

  • Make a Plan and a List:

If time permits such as immunizations and well-checks, start a few days prior and make a list of your questions and any concerns you may have. For unplanned visits that are not emergencies, take the time to sit for few minutes and make your list. That way, you won’t forget about the most important questions on your mind when your pediatrician asks, “What’s going with Johnny today.”

  • Be Honest with your Pediatrician:

The only way for your pediatrician to help you is to have all the facts. Things like medications and dosages administered, eating habits, potty training success, and even daily screen-time and co-sleeping are important to share with your pediatrician. The more information your child’s doctor has, the better diagnosis and treatment.

  • Put your Phone Down:

Your child needs your attention. Take a break from work and the phone and be present. Unless there is an emergency or you are taking notes, the phone often serves as a distraction for you and your child.

  • Ask for Updated Medication and Dosage Charts:

This information is good to have on hand. As your child gets older and grows, recommended medicines and associated dosages change. Most pediatricians have this information handy for caregivers.

  • Ask for Information to take Home:

Having reference information on hand is very valuable to parents and guardians. This information may be educational in nature (such as safety measures to take for 2 year-olds), your immunization schedule or care instructions, such as how to care for your child after receiving treatment along with warning signs. Before going to the appointment, think about what information may be useful to you. Ask your pediatrician or nurse practitioner for reading and reference material regarding your child's specific situation or condition.

  • Ask for More Time if Needed:

If you have a number of questions and concerns about your child’s health or development, it may not be able to all be covered in one visit with the physician or nurse practitioner. Be aware you can certainly schedule a follow up to discuss the situation in more detail.