Q. How often should my child see the pediatrician?

h-pediatric5.jpgA. Your child should not only see the pediatrician when he/she is sick. Your doctor's office will schedule well child exams regularly, beginning in infancy. Well child exams are essential for monitoring your child's social, psychological and nutritional development.

Q. Why does my child need to receive vaccinations?

A. Vaccines protect against the spread of disease and saves lives. We recommend following the CDC schedule of childhood vaccinations in order to fully protect your child. If you're apprehensive about vaccinations, please speak with your child's pediatrician.

Q. How often does my school-aged child need a physical?

A. Your child should have a physical exam by a pediatrician each year. This exam is an important part of your child's health care. A sports-specific physical exam is not a substitute for this important yearly examination.

Q. Can I give my child cough medicine?

A. Because of the risk of life-threatening side effects, infants and children under 2 years old should never be given over-the-counter cough and cold medicines. In addition, according to several studies, these medicines typically are not beneficial for children younger than 6 years old. In fact, serious side effects could occur. Speak with your child's pediatrician for other methods of relieving cough and cold symptoms.

Q. My child has a fever. When should I bring him/her to see the doctor?

A. If your child is younger than 3 months and has a fever of 100.4°F or higher, contact the pediatrician or go to the emergency room immediately. In young babies, a fever can be an indication of serious infection. If your baby is 3 to 6 months of age, contact the doctor if their temperature is 101°F or higher; even if they don't appear to be ill. Babies 6 months and older with a fever of over 101°F who appear ill or those who have a fever that persists for more than two days should see the doctor.  

Q. My child has diarrhea. Should he or she see the doctor?

A. Typically, diarrhea clears up on its own. However, diarrhea can also lead to dehydration. So, if your child shows any of the following symptoms, consult the pediatrician:

  • Has a fever higher than 102°F
  • Hasn't urinated in more than three hours
  • Has blood in his or her stools
  • Has tearless crying
  • Abdomen, eyes or cheeks appear sunken

Q. What causes constipation?

A. It is very common for children to become constipated. Constipation usually occurs when your child's diet doesn't include enough fiber. Fiber is typically found in foods such as vegetables, fruits, cereals and grains. Diets high in fat and refined sugars can cause constipation. Constipation may also occur when you transition your child from breast milk/formula to whole cow's milk and when you change from baby food to solid food. Your child may also become constipated when ill or while taking certain medications. If your child has been constipated for more than two weeks and/or experiencing vomiting, fever, bloody stool, weight loss, abdominal pain or painful cracks around the anus, please contact your pediatrician.

Q. With which hospitals are you affiliated? 

Summit Medical Center, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, St. Thomas Mid Town and Centennial Medical Center