JOPLIN, Mo. — The heath of our children is one of the most important aspects of our life and that can mean seeing a doctor on a regular basis.
Dr. Beth Garrett, Freeman Children’s Clinic, said, “It’s really important to have that relationship from birth until they’re all grown up. Because, then we’re the medical home. I kow what that child looks like in the normal state and if they get sick I know the difference.”
Experts says it’s important to make sure your kids visit, idealy, the same doctor regularly from birth to around 18 years of age.
“If a child comes in with a new skin condition, I know what their skin looks like before. If they come in with new respiratory symptoms, I know what they’re baseline respiratory status is and so it can really help in the diagnostic process.”
That can start with something a simple as yearly check ups.
“We screen for health and development issues and that can include anxiety and depression. There are still vaccines that teenagers need. We talk about health and wellness issues that are more targeted towards teens.”
And as children get older and into their teens, that trust and bond can go a long way with the patients.
“If a teenager has been coming to me since they were younger, when we start having those more teenage talks I think its a little easier because there is that bond of trust if they need to give me information that is a little more sensitive.”