More on Health Care

You can prevent many childhood health problems, as well as costly visits to the emergency room, by working closely with your pediatrician or family doctor. It is usually better for your child’s health if she sees the same doctor each time. Your doctor will get to know your child, and you will probably feel more comfortable talking about your concerns. Talk with your doctor about important issues, such as breastfeeding, nutrition and immunization.

Sun Protection

Protect babies and small children from sunburn and skin cancer with hats and baby-safe sunscreen. Make sure your stroller has a shade. Look for shady play areas.

A Medical Home

Children get better care when they visit the same doctor each time. They also are more comfortable with people and a place they know. This is called a “medical home.”

Ask Your Doctor...

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 each visit.
  • 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.

Things You Can Do

Where to Find Help

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Healthy Families

  • “I’m a single mom. I’m insured through my work, but I insure my child through Healthy Families because it costs less and he gets better benefits.” Call Healthy Families.
    Healthy Families

Hearing and Vision

  • Parents are usually the first to suspect their child has a hearing or vision problem. If you’re worried, ask your doctor to test your child’s hearing or vision. Try to have your baby’s hearing tested at birth. Call Newborn Hearing Screening. Your child should have a first eye exam at age 3 or 4, before she starts school.

Before You Sign for Treatment

  • Before you or your children get medical treatment, you will be asked to sign a consent form. Be sure you understand what is being done and why. Ask about risks, benefits and other treatment choices. If you have to make an important decision, take time to think about it first.