Health Care

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.

Your Rights

  • You have a right to an inter- preter when good communication is important to your health or your child’s health.
  • 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
  • If you have a problem with your HMO, call HMO Help Center or visit

When Your Child is Sick

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 can be 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

Learn More

Help Calm Your Child

  • 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 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.