Spring has sprung. And summer brings forms, lots of camp, sports, and school forms, and our check up “high season.” Here are some tips to help make the well visit more comfortable, efficient, and meaningful for all involved.
- Have your child/ teen wear comfortable clothing that allows unrestricted movement and facilitates a full sports/ musculoskeletal exam without feeling overly exposed (no: skinny jeans, yes: athletic shorts/ bathing suit/ sports bra). If coming straight from school or an event, throw these in a bag to change into at the office.
- Feel free to call or email any concerns prior to the visit. We can discuss sensitive issues or areas of concern that you may not want to bring up in front of your child. We can also arrange a discussion afterwards, whether a short email or longer phone appointment.
- Remember to bring school/ camp forms with you to the appointment or send them to us in advance (having already answered the screening questions is extremely helpful, and can highlight issues to address during the visit)
- Help keep us up to date on how your family is doing, including new medical conditions in family members which might be relevant to your child’s own health, as well as major events, changes, or social stressors which might not be easy for kids to bring up during the visit (death or illness in the family, divorce or marital stress, school stresses, etc.).
- Check ups should be an opportunity to praise many areas of your child’s health and wellness which are positive and to recognize their efforts over the last year. Likewise, it can be an opportunity to identify a few areas to work on in the coming year which deserve more effort or diligence.
- For middle schoolers and teenagers, I like to start with parent(s) in the room to help get the ball rolling, to identify these successes and those issues needing further attention, and to provide parents an opportunity to express their pride and voice what makes their child so amazing and unique. Once parent(s) leave the exam room, we have the opportunity to discuss sensitive issues, what doctor-patient confidentiality includes (and does not include), build rapport and trust, and elicit any questions or personal concerns they may have.
- Also remember that if your child will arrive with a nanny, other relative, or by herself, we need your consent to treat and to administer any vaccinations due.
Sky Pittson, MD, May 17, 2022