Rainy season is here! Flu season is here, too! Huhu. We just had our flu shots so we can be better protected. However, Jonath was not spared. Thankfully, his condition was not severe because of his vaccine last year is in the works. Even if he was not very ill we still decided to bring him (and his two sibs) to their pediatrician for a check-up and flu shots. For all the times I bring a sick child of mine to the doctor, I observed that they follow a similar procedure. They also ask an almost similar set of questions. The next time you (unfortunately) need to pay a doctor a visit because your child is sick, be ready to answer these questions.
1. The general condition of your child. The doctor will ask you about your child’s symptoms – fever, fatigue, irregular bowels, cold, cough, any pains, and rashes. She will also ask the last activities of your child, like where he’s been, the kind of environment he lives in, if he did any strenuous task lately or if he’d been exposed to other sick people. Some doctors in small clinics will ask you too about your child’s weight and height.
2. Details of the symptoms. She will ask you when did the symptoms start to show. She will ask what’s the highest temperature of your child and when does fever happen – during the day, in the afternoon or at night. It’s important that you remember this information or if you doubt your memory, do keep a record kahit sa cellphone lang. Expect her to ask things like – what’s the sound of his cough, what’s the color of the phlegm, does he vomit, how sticky his nose mucus is. Stuff like that, so be ready and be as detailed as possible. She may also ask you if your child is not suffering from this and that symptom just to be sure you are not forgetting to tell her anything.
3. Anything your child is taking. She will ask you too about your child’s diet (food and water) and if there has been any change in it before and after he got sick. She will also need to know what vitamins and supplements he’s currently taking and if you’ve given him anything at the onset of his sickness. And, moms, be honest please even if you’re not sure if what you did is right.
4. Physical examination. The doctor will conduct a physical examination of your child. So, prepare him. Make sure he brushed his teeth, cleaned his ears and took a bath, kahit sponge bath lang. Be prepared to answer her questions if she sees anything during the physical exam, like when did a rash first appeared or how did he get a contusion.
5. Medical records including vaccinations. If your doctor does not have your child’s immunization charts she will rely on your statement or records. This is important as this will help her make a correct diagnosis of your child’s condition. Also, this will help the doctor narrow down the possible illnesses your child has. She may ask you too for any allergies of your child before she prescribes medicine. In some cases, doctors will ask about his previous illnesses, his siblings’ or your own medical profile.
Remember these five things, mommies, when you’re bringing a sick child to a doctor to help her make your child better. You need to give her the best and most complete and accurate information so she can make the right call. It also pays to have two regular doctors for your child or your family. It will make you more comfortable talking with them if you’ve known them for years. We’ve known our kids’ pediatrician since 2004. Stay healthy!