Central to the fruition of your goal to have your child live a healthy, happy, and productive life is to build a good relationship with the person responsible for their health care—their pediatrician.
But how long should your child see their pediatrician, and when is it time to switch to an adult physician? Let’s find out.
The Important Role a Pediatrician Plays in Your Child’s Life
Pediatric visits are so much more than getting shots. They are an opportunity for your pediatrician to evaluate your child’s growth and development, do a thorough physical exam, screen them for a variety of conditions, and instill healthy lifestyle habits in your child. Pediatric visits essentially lay the groundwork for a supportive and trusting relationship between your family and your pediatrician, who will work together to keep your child healthy all the way through adulthood.
At some point in their adolescent life, your child may want to see their pediatrician without you. Pediatricians are adept at creating opportunities to engage tweens and teens in meaningful discussions, allowing them to speak freely and openly about any concerns they have, or about subjects that they may find uncomfortable discussing with you around. Regular pediatric visits help your child learn to trust their pediatrician—which is a building block of any successful patient-physician relationship. Through this relationship, your pediatrician will help your child develop greater autonomy and responsibility to get involved in their own health care as they navigate their adolescent years.
When to Move to an Adult Physician
Our pediatricians, like many others, provide care for children through their 18th birthday. However, there are some who continue to see patients until age 21. The transition to adult care typically begins between those ages.
It is worth noting that there are certain factors to consider— such as your child’s desires, needs, and maturity— when determining the best time to move your child from pediatric care to adult care. Your child may remain comfortable with the familiarity of seeing a healthcare professional who has provided them with care throughout their life, and therefore, prefers to stay with their pediatrician until they reach 21. On the other hand, they may also find connecting with an adult doctor easier, particularly for adult-related issues, such as contraception, STD screening, or questions about sexual health
Pediatricians in Palm Harbor, Trinity, Westchase, and Lutz, Florida
At Children’s Medical Center, we have 20 highly qualified pediatricians on staff whose foremost goal is to create a positive impact on the lives of the children in our communities by providing them with unparalleled health care and their families with compassionate service. We delight in setting aside time to equip parents with all the necessary resources that enable them to effectively guide their children along the path to optimal health and wellness.
To learn more about our services or to see one of our pediatricians, contact us at our office near you: Palm Harbor office- (727) 787-6335, Westchase office- (813) 891-6501, Trinity office- (727) 376-8404, or Lutz office- (813) 751-3131.