Four Signs Your Child Has Outgrown The Pediatrician
If you’ve been going to the same pediatrician since your child was an infant, you’ve probably grown to know and love them. After many years of the pediatrician learning all about your child, watching them grow and develop, and establishing a relationship with you and your family, it can be difficult – and sometimes even a little bit scary – to think about switching to another doctor. However, there will come a time when it is more appropriate and beneficial for your child to be under the care of a family doctor rather than a pediatrician.
The caring team of medical providers at Health Services of North Texas (HSNT) – with locations in Denton, Wylie, and Plano – fully understands how sensitive and emotional the change from pediatric care to primary care can be and are here to help make the transition as smooth and comfortable as possible for both you and your child. If you have started to wonder about the next step in your child’s long-term healthcare, use these helpful tips to determine when it may be time to move on from the pediatrician.
What do pediatricians do?
To better understand when it may be time to have your child switch from a pediatrician to a family care doctor, it is important to know what a pediatrician’s primary focus is, including what they treat. Maintaining routine pediatric monitoring and care throughout your child’s early years is critical for ensuring healthy growth and development, among other things. Some of the essential services that pediatricians provide during childhood include:
- Newborn care
- Vaccines and immunizations
- Monitor proper growth and development
- Vision and hearing screening
- Sick visits (ear infections, flu, etc.)
- Well visits
- School, camp, and sports physicals
How long should a child see a pediatrician?
There are no set rules in terms of when a child should stop seeing a pediatrician. In fact, many patients choose to continue being seen by their pediatrician until age 18, or even through their first few years of college. However, as children begin to reach puberty and adolescence, many parents begin to wonder what the next step in their child’s healthcare should be. It is natural to want to continue with the pediatrician you are familiar with for as long as possible, though at some point it will be necessary for your child to transfer their care to an adult primary care provider.
The knowledgeable pediatric and family care providers at all of HSNT’s Wylie and Denton locations are committed to helping parents and patients understand when it may be time to consider moving from pediatric care to an adult doctor. If you are beginning to think your teenager may be ready for that step, consider these four key signs that might mean they’ve outgrown the pediatrician:
1. Your child is no longer comfortable talking with the pediatrician about their current healthcare needs.
These may include STDs, eating disorders, birth control, and other common adolescent concerns.
2. Your pediatrician is not equipped to treat your child’s specific conditions.
For example, some pediatricians may not be specifically trained to treat eating disorders, issues related to sexual health, and other problems that are more common among older teens and adolescents.
3. Your child is embarrassed about going to the pediatrician’s office.
Many older children and teenagers reach a point where they feel embarrassed or out of place at a pediatric office, where they are surrounded by babies, toddlers, and toys or puzzles.
4. Your child has developed more serious health conditions.
Oftentimes, when an older child develops a chronic condition, such as diabetes or an autoimmune disorder, it may be time to consider putting them under the care of a primary care physician and appropriate specialists. While pediatricians can certainly play a critical role in identifying potential conditions early on, it is important to make sure your child is then referred to a provider that can manage and treat the disease.
How do I switch my child from a pediatrician to an adult doctor?
When you think it is time to begin transitioning your child to another doctor, be sure to consult your pediatrician and involve your child in the decision as well. Your pediatrician will likely be able to recommend a provider that he or she thinks will be a good fit for your child, and the pediatrician’s office will also be able to send your child’s records and health history to the new doctor’s office.
Make the transition from a pediatrician to a family doctor in Wylie, Denton, or Plano, TX
If you are looking for more information about how to tell when it’s time to move on from the pediatrician, we invite you to call one of the convenient Health Services of North Texas locations in Collin or Denton County to speak with our friendly team today. Ensure your child has the most appropriate and comfortable level of care to take them from childhood through adulthood, whether it is with one of our pediatricians or primary care providers.