Paediatrics is the practice of medicine concerned with children and related illnesses. At SmartClinics, we have a number of highly qualified GPs with an interest in the area of Paediatrics working out of medical centres around Queensland.
How is Paediatrics different to Adult Medicine?
There are a few notable differences between the practice of medicine on adults and for children. The first and most obvious example is size. Children (and especially babies) are not simply significantly smaller than adults, but they are also vastly physiologically different. People don’t simply scale up in size as they grow older. Different parts of the body develop at different rates and at different stages during life.
Further, there are some conditions that are only found in children, that rarely affect adults, or that have different effects depending on the age of the patient. Visiting a GP who has taken a special interest in Paediatrics can be beneficial for your child’s health, as they will have experience in management of those conditions that are specific to children.
What does a Paediatrician do?
A Paediatrician is a doctor who specialises in children and their diseases. Upon graduation from medical school, doctors must undergo several years of postgraduate training in
Paediatrics to become Paediatricians. They are highly educated in those diseases that affect children specifically.
Your child will likely be required to consult a Paediatrician at some point in his/her life. When your child is born, he/she will have a thorough examination conducted by a Paediatrician at birth. As your child grows up, he/she may be referred by your GP to a Paediatrician for management of more complex medical conditions. However, for the most part, your child will be well attended by a GP who has special interest and experience in child health.
Does your child need a Paediatrician or a GP appointment?
Deciding whether your child needs to see a Paediatrician or a normal GP can be somewhat difficult.
From birth through to the start of school, most children will have regular check-ups with a GP to ensure that their health is on-track and that they are developing within normal bounds.
An experienced GP who takes a special interest in Paediatrics will be able to address the majority of the concerns that you may have about your child’s health.
Some reasons you would visit a GP with a special interest in child health include:
- Feeding/sleeping problems
- Unsettled babies
- Failure to thrive (poor growth)
- Developmental delay
- Enuresis (bed wetting)
- Chronic cough, wheeze
- Food allergies or intolerances
- Teacher’s worries about a child’s behaviour, attention and school participation
- Gastrointestinal issues such as constipation, chronic abdominal pain
Your GP as your first port of call can manage many of your child’s health concerns and give you advice on when a specialist consultation is needed for your child.
Tips for making the most of your appointment with the GP or Paediatrician
- Be transparent – provide all the details that the doctor asks for. Don’t hold anything back, even if it seems irrelevant. They will be asking pertinent questions because it may help them with a diagnosis.
- Have information ready – the doctor will likely ask you about a lot of things affecting your child’s lifestyle. Have a good idea of how they’re eating, sleeping and any behavioural patterns. If you have any photos, videos or diary entries of the progression of any illnesses, bring these along so the GP or Paediatrician can get a sense of how things are progressing.
- Stand up for your child – most doctors have seen it all twice over, however sometimes a parent’s intuition can add value. If you believe that the doctor has glossed over an important detail, repeat it.
Booking a health appointment for your child
If you’re ready to book an appointment for your child, you can find a GP near you who has a special interest in this area by using our online Dr Search Tool https://www.smartclinics.com.au/dr-search/?_sft_docspecialities=childrens-health-paediatrics
If you already know which GP you would like to book with, click here to book online or call your preferred SmartClinics Medical Centre. https://www.smartclinics.com.au/search-medical-centres/