When to take the baby to the pediatrician?

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Philippe Gloaguen
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The pediatrician is the child's doctor

The specialist who will follow the growth from birth at least up to six years (but it is possible to stay with the pediatrician up to 14 years) and point of reference for mum and dad for every little or big doubt about the health of their little one.



Read also: Pediatrician, how to choose the right one

In this article

  • Health balances
  • Other checks
  • To the pediatrician with a fever
  • When to go to the emergency room

Health reports or filter visits

Some meetings with the pediatrician are scheduled: they are the so-called health reports or filter visits, routine checks to evaluate growth and psychomotor development of the little one. The National Health Service passes at least six, three within the year and another three between two and six years: in general, however, there is a few more, and in any case it is the individual regions or even the individual Asl to establish exactly how many make it (possibly also in the 6-14 range).



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The "health balances" from the first month to the 14 years: this is what they consist of

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Health balances are a series of checks that the doctor carries out to evaluate the psychophysical development of the child. It is the individual regions (sometimes the individual Asl) that establish exactly ...



Between 0 and six years we always start with a general physical examination, with the collection of data relating to weight, height and head circumference. In addition, a psychomotor and sensory evaluation: language, sight, hearing, motor skills and neurological development are checked.



Health balances are very important appointments to intercept if there is something that is not going quite in the right direction, or for ask for advice to the pediatrician about some particular moment of growth, such as weaning. Not only that: during these meetings, doctors generally take the opportunity to explain to parents what they can expect from their child over the next few weeks or months and how to intervene in case of small problems, as well as answering any questions on particular topics, such as vaccinations. That's why it's good not to miss them!

Obviously, if there are particular situations, for example an infant presenting growth anomalies and must be kept under control, the meetings with the pediatrician can be even more frequent and closer.

Read also: The developmental stages of the child from 0 to six years

Health reports: all the fundamental appointments from 0 to six years

FIRST MONTH

The first visit usually takes place two weeks after birth, and in any case within the first 45 days. The following are checked: growth (weight, length, head circumference), fontanel, hips, eyes, neurological development, the presence of any malformations not visible at birth, genitals.

The pediatrician prescribes vitamin D and, as needed, vitamina K and fluoro for the teeth and discusses with the parents the management of the baby, providing, if necessary, breastfeeding support. It should also illustrate early vaccinations and offer guidance for the prevention of cot death and secondhand smoke complications.

2/3 MONTHS

The basic checks are repeated (physical examination, growth, psychomotor evaluation, cardiovascular status) and the status of vaccinations is checked.

6 MONTHS

Physical examination, psychomotor and sensory evaluation, evaluation of vaccinations. We start talking about weaning (never before 4 months, better from 6 months) and information is provided on the prevention of domestic accidents.

8/9 MONTHS

Physical examination and psychomotor and sensory evaluation. For example, it is assessed if the child sits correctly, if and how he stumbles, if she has started there lallationif you are interested in your surroundings. In many local health authorities the Book test, which allows you to evaluate the hearing, but also the attentional and relational abilities of the child.

12 MONTHS

Physical examination and psychomotor and sensory evaluation. The feeding of the child is evaluated and vaccination against it is illustrated measles-mumps-rubella-chickenpox, to be done around 13-15 months.

18 MONTHS

Physical examination. Control of vaccinations. Motor Activity Assessment: The child should have started walking. Speech Assessment: Does he say a few words besides mom and dad? Does he follow the speech and understand what is being asked of him? Some regions require a test to be carried out forearly detection of autism based on observation of the child and a questionnaire for parents).

24 MONTHS

Physical examination, psychomotor evaluation (does the child walk, jump, run?) And sensory. Evaluation of language: around the age of 2 the child should pronounce at least 50 words and be able to put two or more together to express concepts. Evaluation of view: Lang's test is performed for amblyopia (stereoscopic vision). In some regions, a test is carried out for the colorblindness (which in others is carried out at the control of 5/6 years).

And again: the pediatrician evaluates the dental occlusion (the child should have abandoned the pacifier, or start to do so) and explains the basic rules of oral hygiene (or he can suggest a visit to a dentist, to clarify these aspects).

36 MONTHS

Physical examinations and motor, sensory and language assessments continue.

5-6 YEARS

Physical examination, psychomotor, sensory and language assessment. Control of vaccinations. Evaluation ofvisual acuity (whether the child sees well or not). Teeth evaluation: It may be time to send the child to the dentist for an initial check-up. Evaluation of the skeleton andpostural attitude, to identify any anomalies such as scoliosis, flat foot, lordosis, kyphosis. Evaluation of any learning disabilities (such as dyslexia) which may emerge with the onset of school. Information on the prevention of obesity and eating disorders.

Other checks

In addition to health checks, you can go to the pediatrician every time you want to bring to his attention some problem of the child: fever, cough, vomiting and diarrhea, exanthematous diseases, any dermatitis or allergies are among the most common concerns for the parents.

Usually before going to the clinic there is a telephone call with the doctor, who begins to provide the first indications on what is best to do or not to do.

To the pediatrician with a fever? Yes you can!

Fever is the condition of the child that most often leads parents to ask the pediatrician for a home visit. However, this request is often not accepted. On the other hand, the child with a fever you can safely go to the clinic: indeed, it is generally much better that you do it. Not only is his condition not worsening, but in his office the doctor has any on hand tools for an initial diagnosis (throat swab, urinalysis, micro blood sampling).

Only if the fever exceeds 39 ° C, does not respond to drugs and the general conditions are such that it does not allow the movement (for example because there are very frequent vomiting or diarrhea) can the home visit.

Pediatrician and symptoms compatible with Covid-19

What happens to a child who has symptoms compatible with Covid-19 (fever or other flu-like symptoms such as sore throat, cold, cough)? Parents should contact the pediatrician or family doctor for clinical evaluation: in case of suspicion of COVID-19, the doctor will promptly request the diagnostic test, communicating it to the Prevention Department of the relevant ASL. The Department of Prevention itself carries out the diagnostic test and takes action to deepen the epidemiological investigation and the consequent procedures.

Vaccines: here is the calendar between 0 and six years

Childhood vaccines are not made by the pediatrician, but in the vaccination center of the ASL of reference, which takes care of inviting parents to the various appointments provided for by the national vaccination calendar. We remind you that from 2022 some vaccinations are mandatory. Here are all the vaccines to do, between mandatory and recommended.

Three months

Mandatory: first dose diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type B (hexavalent). Recommended: first dose meningococcus B; pneumococcal first dose.

Four months

Recommended: second dose meningococcus B.

Five months

Mandatory: second dose diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type B (hexavalent). Recommended: second pneumococcal dose.

Six months

Recommended: third dose meningococcus B.

Between 3 and 7 months

Recommended: rotavirus (two or three doses depending on the type of vaccine).

11 months

Mandatory: third dose diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type B (hexavalent). Recommended: third pneumococcal dose.

13 months

Recommended: fourth dose Meningococcus B.

Between 13 and 15 months

Mandatory: first dose measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); first dose chicken pox (or first dose tetravalent MPRV). Recommended: first dose Meningococcus C.

Six years

Mandatory: diphtheria recall, tetanus, pertussis, polio (DTP + polio); recall measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox (MPR or MPRV).

Between 12 and 18 years

then the boosters for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio (mandatory) and the meningococcal C booster will be made, plus HPV vaccination (recommended.

When the pediatrician is not enough: the first aid

A sprained ankle, a sore arm after a fall from the bike, a bad cut: these are some examples of conditions that prompt parents to take their children to the hospital, to the emergency room, without going to the pediatrician. And in winter there are also respiratory diseases, especially if there are important symptoms as can happen in the case of laryngitis.

Sometimes the rush to the hospital is fully justified, but in other cases it would be enough to go to the pediatrician, avoiding overcrowding the hospitals. To find out when to take your baby to the emergency room, read the article.

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First aid, 12 situations in which it is necessary to bring the children

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When should children be taken to the emergency room? Here are 24 situations that require an emergency visit. Sources: Indications from Simeup (Società Del Paesena di ...

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  • pediatrician
  • vaccinations for children
  • hospital
  • child's agenda
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