Asking questions about your kid’s health

The period of adolescence is full of many changes, a lot of them being physical changes.  This might leave you having some questions about your child’s health.

You might wonder whether the things your child is experiencing (whether they are new emotions, thoughts or physical changes) are normal.  Oftentimes to get answers to these questions, we use the Internet.  It’s nice because it’s so convenient and fast!

Photo Credit: irfanherdyato Flickr via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: irfanherdyato Flickr via Compfight cc

But do you really find the answers you’re looking for?  Here’s an example of when searching the Internet can go wrong.   Let’s say your child has a lump on the back of their neck.  Maybe you saw a Dr. Oz episode about diagnosing tumors early.  You begin to wonder whether it could be a tumor.  After watching Dr. Oz, you immediately go to your computer and begin researching it online. Your search reveals all kinds of possibly scary cancers!  However, the fortunate truth is most young people with a lump on the back of their neck will not end up having cancer.  So how do you get the questions you have about your child’s health answered with the most accurate information and the least amount of stress?

A trusted pediatrician (or medical professional) can often be way more helpful – they most likely have experienced similar situations with their other patients and they can think it through with you to come up with a plan.  Here’s some advice about how to talk to your child’s doctor about their health.

Also as children get older, parents often have a difficult time letting go when it comes to their child’s health visits with their doctor.  However, it can be a good idea to begin exploring and helping your child become independent during their doctor appointments.  Listed below are a few steps from the University of Michigan on how to help your child gain health independence:

  • Before an appointment, encourage your teen to write down any health problems or questions they have.
  • Upon arriving at a doctor’s visit, ask your teen to check in at the registration desk and complete forms.
  • During the visit, wait to speak, giving your teen space to describe any problems or ask any questions.
  • Allow your teen private time with the doctor without you in the room.

Do you speak to your child’s doctor when you have questions about their health that need answered?  Do you have any thoughts or suggestions about your child gaining independence in regards to their health?  We’d love to hear!

Leave a Reply