How to share the Doctor’s Advice with Preschoolers

Parents will seek a doctor’s advice for a variety of symptoms or general concerns regarding their preschoolers. Concerns about a child’s development and common childhood illnesses are typical reasons for seeking medical attention. Despite these needs, many children fear the doctor. If your preschooler is nervous about a visit to the doctor, explain the reasons for going and mention the anticipated procedures in a manner they can understand. Doing so reduces their anxiety and allows for a less stressful trip to the physician.

Developmental Concerns

Physical or social development concerns prompt parents to seek medical advice for their preschoolers. Caregivers might notice their children not meeting suggested developmental criteria such as speech acquisition or progressing with their motor skills. The Mayo Clinic suggests that by age 2, typical children should understand about 50 words. If you notice delays in certain areas, the Mayo Clinic recommends speaking with your physician. All children develop at their own rate, but a physician can provide an informed assessment of their strengths and needs.

Illness

Preschoolers are exposed to a variety of illness in public, school and day care. Viruses are easily spread among young children because of a lack of hygiene and proper hand washing techniques. Illness such as colds, coughs and diarrhea are common among preschoolers. However, speak with your doctor when children exhibit any new symptom to ensure it is not the sign of a more serious or life-threatening illness. Reduce your children’s need to visit the doctor and encourage frequent hand washing after using the toilet and before eating.

Injuries

Injuries are the single highest reason parents seek a physician’s consultation, according to Partnership for America’s Economic Success. Non-life threatening injuries from exploring their environment are inevitable, but reduce your preschoolers’ need to seek medical attention by shaping their environment in a variety of ways. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, practice gun safety and purchase properly fitted car seats. WebMD additionally suggests teaching your preschoolers basic home safety such as avoidance of hazardous chemicals and hot surfaces.

Nutritional and Weight Concerns

According to the Partnership for America’s Economic Success, the number of obese children in the United States has tripled in the past few decades. In addition to obesity, some preschoolers do not consume the daily recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals. A significant percentage of young children not enrolled in a Head Start Program did not consume an adequate amount of certain vitamins such as folate, vitamin C and calcium, according to an article published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Physicians not only help identify weight issues among preschoolers but also suggest diet and exercise tips to incorporate into their daily lives.

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