What Your Child's Doctor Does NOT Want to Hear
Of course, your child's pediatrician wants you to voice your honest concerns about your child's health - but how you tell him can make or break your parent-physician relationship. Learn how to be your doc's favorite patient's mama.
Threatening Your Child with the Doctor
The Offending Statement: “If you don’t behave, I’ll make the doctor give you a shot!”
Why You Shouldn’t Say It: It’s very damaging to imply that visits to the doctor are on par with punishment.
Insisting on Only Organic
The Offending Statement: “I should be feeding my child strictly organic foods, right?”
Why You Shouldn’t Say It: Doctors have struggled with this question and often arrive at the brutally honest answer, “I just don’t know.”
Mentioning Important Medical Issues at the END of a Routine Visit
Why You Shouldn’t Say It: Waiting until the final moments of your child’s physical to mention a chronic or serious issue is dreadful to your pediatrician because it affects her time.
Phoning In for Diagnoses and Prescriptions
The Offending Statement: “We don’t have time to come by your office. My child has experienced these symptoms before, so I know what’s wrong; can’t you just phone in the prescription?”
Why You Shouldn’t Say It: Unfortunately, diagnosing and treating illnesses and infections is not quite as easy as it seems.
Using Junk Food as a Reward for Doc's Office Visits
The Offending Statement: “If you behave, I’ll take you to Dunkin’ Donuts.”
Requesting Specific Medical Tests
The Offending Statement: “My child is tired and achy; can you just send off a Lyme test? Can you do bloodwork for thyroid disease?”
Why You Shouldn’t Say It: Despite your best intentions, requesting specific screenings without a process behind them may actually cause harm to your child. Many tests produce false positives and many are just plain unnecessary.
Keeping Mum With Kids About Their Diagnosis
The Offending Statement: “Please don’t discuss my child’s diagnosis in front of her.”
Why You Shouldn’t Say It: Children should be involved in caring for their bodies as early as possible.
Squeezing in Parent Exams
The Offending Statement: “Oh, can you just listen to my lungs quickly?”
Why You Shouldn’t Say It: An adult asking for personal medical advice from a pediatrician presents multiple problems, one of which is that your pediatrician probably hasn’t studied adult medicine since medical school.
The Offending Statement: “My child was showing signs of an infection, so I just gave him the leftover pills that were prescribed to me the last time I had an infection. They’re all the same, right?”
Why You Shouldn’t Say It: Giving your child prescription medicine from a past illness (yours or hers) is a terrible idea for many reasons. The overuse of antibiotics is bad for you, your child, and society in general.
The Offending Statement: “I just got a bill from your office. Why didn’t you tell me little Jack’s last visit wasn’t covered?”
Why You Shouldn’t Say It: Questions like this take up an enormous amount of administrative time—and keep your pediatrician away from actually practicing medicine.
The Offending Statement: “Honey, if you stay still, this won’t hurt at all.”
Why You Shouldn’t Say It: False assurances often backfire. Do
shots hurt? Yes, and although you may be tempted to soothe your child, misleading him can actually be quite damaging.
Splitting Up Vaccinations
The Offending Statement: “It seems like too many vaccines are being administered today; can we split up them up over the course of multiple visits”
Why You Shouldn’t Say It: Stress on the immune system of a child is difficult to measure. Sometimes stressors can even be a necessary part of healthy development.
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