To get the best health care at a cost
you can afford, you need to be an informed consumer.
But choosing a health plan and a doctor can be confusing.
Most insured Californians are in managed care plans.
A primary care doctor coordinates all your treatment.
Look for a doctor you like—one who respects you
and your culture, understands your family’s health
care needs and makes sure you get the best care.
- You have a right to an inter- preter when good
communication is important to your health or your child’s
- You have a right to choose your own doctor in
your health plan and to change doctors if you want to.
- You have a right to see and copy your medical
records or your child’s. It’s a good idea
to get a copy, in case you change health plans or doctors.
- If you or your child has a disability, find
out more about your health care rights. Call Disability
Rights Advocates. Visit www.dralegal.org.
- If you have a problem with your HMO, call HMO
Help Center or visit www.hmohelp.ca.gov.
When Your Child Is Sick
If your baby has a fever or diarrhea, make sure he has
plenty of liquids. Don’t give a child aspirin—it
dangerous. Ask your doctor if you should give your child
acetaminophen or another medication.
Is My Baby Sick?
It’s hard to know when to call your doctor about
your baby, especially if you’re a new parent.
Ask your doctor when you should call him or call 9-1-1.
Ask him for a written list of symptoms to look for.
And ask how to take your baby’s temperature.
Look for changes in your baby’s normal behavior.
You will know your baby’s regular sleeping, eating
and bowel habits. You will know his normal level of
activity and fussiness. If your baby does not act normal,
or his skin doesn’t look normal, take his temperature.
Always call your doctor if you are worried.
Things You Can Do
Where to Find Help
Help Calm Your Child
If you are calm during a doctor
visit, your baby or child is more likely to stay calm.
Talk to her in a soothing voice. Rock or hold her close.
Bring a pacifier, familiar blanket or stuffed toy.
Ask Your Doctor About the Shots Your Baby Needs
- Shots or vaccines can protect your child from many dangerous
diseases, including measles, mumps, polio, hepatitis B
and chicken pox.
- The schedule for shots can change, but if your
baby misses a shot, he can usually still get it. Ask your
doctor. Call National Immunization Hotline.
- Take your child’s immunization records to
- At each visit ask, “When are my baby’s
next shots due?”
- Discuss any health problems your baby has.
- Ask if you should give your child acetaminophen
to make him more comfortable. Never give aspirin.
- Your child may be sore where the shot was given,
or be cranky or have a slight fever. These are normal
reactions. But if your child has a more severe reaction,
call your doctor.