Keeping your kids healthy on doctor visits

Consumer Reports News: April 20, 2011 12:08 PM

Taking your child to the pediatrician for a well-baby or well-child visit is a regular routine for most parents. Unfortunately it seems to be nearly as routine for your child to come down with a cold or other infection a few days later.

Even though most pediatricians offer a separate waiting room for children who are sick, it is a doctor’s office, after all. Chances are that some of the patients who haven’t been sequestered in the “sick” waiting room have been shedding germs.

There are some strategies you can use to minimize contracting another illness when you’re at a regular check up, said Dr. David Kimberlin, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on infectious diseases and an associate professor of pediatrics in the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Use your judgment. No matter how enticing the toys in a play area, try to keep your child occupied with books or toys that you’ve brought from home. Prevent your child from crawling on the floor or teething on the chair. Much as you may want to encourage your toddler to socialize (and maybe make a new friend for yourself while you’re waiting), it’s better to keep her from wandering over to other children.

One of the best ways to keep your child healthy, both at the pediatrician’s office and in the world, is to keep up with the appropriate vaccination schedule for childhood illnesses.

“What I would strongly emphasize is that parents should get their child fully immunized when they’re supposed to get them,” said Dr, Kimberlin. “You can’t trust other parents.”

Check out our buying advice and Ratings for a wide range of products for babies and kids.

Merri Rosenberg

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