10 Things Pediatricians Choose Not To Tell Parents (And 10 Things They’re Not Allowed To)

As in any customer service oriented job, there is a fine line between helping the customer out in a calm, cool and professional manner and totally alienating them by being rude and uncouth when they ask for help.

Parents points out that even though pediatricians might want to internally facepalm whenever their clients’ parents ask for antibiotics to make their child’s cold go away faster, they’ll either find some way to placate the parents without contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria or will gently explain for the thousandth time that antibiotics can only help if a child has an infection caused by bacteria, not a virus.

Pediatricians are also legally bound by rules and regulations concerning their clients and their parents. For example, the Boston Children’s Hospital notes that there is no way that a pediatrician will ever break doctor-patient confidentiality on the whim of a nosy parent because they want to find out what their teenager’s answers were to a health questionnaire or are curious about the results of a certain test.

Parents, read on to learn more about all the things pediatricians wish that they could tell their clients and their parents as well as some of the things they are unable to discuss for one reason or another.

Let's start with the 10 things pediatricians choose not to mention...

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20 Pediatricians Don't Always Know The Answer

When their child comes down with a mysterious cough or a rash that just won’t go away despite a mother’s best efforts to use every kind of soothing cream in existence, frustrated parents turn to their child’s pediatrician because they’ll know what’s going on and how to fix it.

Quartz points out that contrary to popular belief in our modern society, doctors don’t have an endless amount of knowledge and sometimes what’s going on with a child is going to stump them, which is why they might refer their patient out to a specialist or encourage their parents to seek a second opinion. After all, doctors are only human at the end of the day.

19 Antibiotics Can't Solve Everything

The minute that their child comes down with a case of the sniffles and a sore throat, most parents’ minds immediately go to “bacterial infection” and get very put out when their child’s pediatrician does not prescribe them antibiotics.

WTop points out that the reason why pediatricians do not give a patient antibiotics is due to the fact that their illness is caused by a virus and since antibiotics can only treat a bacterial infection, prescribing a medication isn’t going to do a blessed thing to ease their discomfort. Besides, over-prescribing antibiotics contributes to the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria and that is definitely not a good thing to have on this planet.

18 Alternative Vaccination Schedules Are Not Good

Thanks to the rise of misplaced concern about vaccinations, there are some parents out there that implore their pediatrician to ignore the traditional childhood vaccination schedule and use an alternative one due to the fact that they have bought into the pseudoscience about certain side effects.

WTop writes that most, if not all, pediatricians really don’t like it when their client’s parents insist on using an alternative vaccination schedule because it leaves the field open wide for them to come down with something like measles and it weakens our society’s herd immunity. For example, if more parents had followed the traditional vaccination schedule, there probably wouldn’t be a measles outbreak in certain parts of the country.

17 Co-Sleeping Isn't The Best Idea

Parents are quick to hop on the latest sleep training method called co-sleeping, but Chilldad points out that pediatricians feel that their clients’ mothers and fathers should do a bit more research before joining in on the latest fad.

One study in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics says that there is some evidence that points to co-sleeping actually leading to more sleeping issues as your child gets older. The longer a child was allowed to co-sleep, the more likely it was that he or she had more problems sleeping throughout the night and being able to fall asleep pretty quickly at bedtime. 

16 Not Every Parenting Trend Is Right For Your Child

Thanks to the wonderful world of the Internet, parents can learn all about the latest parenting trends and methods that experts on social media or on the television boast about being the best yet with just a few clicks of a button.

It’s natural for parents to want to be the best parent ever and do right by their child, but as Inc points out, the fact of the matter is that not every parenting method, style and trend is going to be a one-size-fits-all because each child has their own individual wants, needs, desires and has their own personality.

15 Skin Irritation Doesn't Always Require A Trip To The Doctor

When I was a little girl, I will fully admit that my mother was the type to immediately run to the pediatrician’s office every time I wound up getting something like a weird-looking rash on my arm while my dad was the type to just toss me some anti-itch cream from the store and waited to see if it cleared up on its own.

Chilldad notes that many pediatricians feel like internally facepalming every time a parent comes into their office because they are concerned about a minor skin irritation that their child developed instead of doing what my dad did and use some Aquaphor on it. As long as it’s not ridiculously itchy and your child doesn’t keep poking at it, it should clear up on its own in a few days. If not, that’s when you run to the doctor.

14 Well-Child Visits Are Essential

I honestly don’t recall ever going for my usual well visits unless it was required by the school that I was attending at that time of my life because I needed the necessary immunizations or things like that; in general, the only time I really saw my pediatrician when I was a child was when I wasn’t feeling well due to a sore throat or a sinus infection.

Parents notes that many pediatricians wish that their client’s parents would quit skipping the well visits because their schedule is packed to the brim. The well visits are quite important because it allows your child to become more comfortable with their pediatrician and it gives the doctor a chance to spot any issues early on in the game.

13 The Great Outdoors Doesn't Cause Colds

I don’t remember a time when I was a kid and my mom was not admonishing me to bundle up when I went out to play with my friends at the local park during the fall and winter because if I didn’t, then I was probably going to catch a cold.

Parents adds that pediatricians can’t stand when their clients’ parents parrot this old wives’ tale because there is absolutely no truth to it and the reason why children are more prone to catching colds during the winter is due to the fact that they have a tendency to touch everything and are enclosed in small spaces at school with the heat cranked up high.

12 Make Sure Your Cutlery Is Spotless When Your Little One Isn't Feeling Well

It is easy to slack off on giving utensils a quick once-over before tossing them into the dishwasher when your little one is sick because you’re more concerned about making an appointment to see the doctor and stocking up on necessary items such as ginger ale, crackers and chicken noodle soup.

Women’s Health adds that pediatricians wish that their clients’ parents would be more mindful of cleaning utensils when their little one isn’t feeling so great because it can cut down on the spread of germs. Sure, it’s annoying to take time out to give the cutlery a good scrub down, but it’ll help your household out in the long run.

11 Expensive Diapers Don't Cut Down On Diaper Rash

Thanks to social media and the rise of the Internet age, many parents are easily persuaded to purchase expensive diaper brands because they erroneously heard that they help cut down on diaper rash.

Women’s Health points out that any pediatrician worth his or her salt could tell you that this is so not true. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that can prove that cheaper diapers can cause babies to become more prone to getting a diaper rash and that the more expensive brands are somehow magically diaper rash free if you use it on your child. That’s not how it works, folks!

And here are the 10 things pediatricians are not allowed to discuss...

10 Personal Questions Asked By A Teen Patient At A Visit

Some well-meaning parents want to know every aspect of their child’s health and might even ask their teen’s pediatrician what their responses were to the personal questions that the doctor asked him or her when mom and dad stepped out of the room.

Trusted Choice points out that while the specifics of the laws vary from state to state, for the most part your teen’s pediatrician cannot reveal to you what your child said to them due to doctor-patient confidentiality rules. In general, the only time a doctor can inform their patient’s parent about an issue is if they feel that the teen’s behavior is seriously detrimental to their health and well-being.

9 Kids Can't Always Accurately Identify The Source Of Illness

According to Cosmopolitan, every pediatrician knows how to rely on other clues in order to figure out why their patient isn’t feeling well because they know that children aren’t always accurate when it comes to describing symptoms.

For example, if a child is complaining about their ear bothering them, they can’t often tell the difference between a dull ache or a sharp pain. That’s why doctors have to rely on other clues to figure out what’s going on, such as whether or not they’re constantly rubbing their ear or secondary symptoms, such as having a runny nose or if they keep sneezing throughout the entire visit.

8 Results Of A Teen's Test

Boston’s Children’s Hospital adds that pediatricians are also not allowed to reveal to parents if their teenager has taken certain tests, such as if they want to find out if they have a bun in the oven and don’t want their mom and dad to discover what’s going on.

The only time a pediatrician will reveal results of certain tests to their patient’s parents is if they feel that said results are detrimental to their health and even then, most, if not all pediatricians will inform their client of their perspective decision and will take the time to sit down to discuss the situation with them before they do so.

7 That The Hysteria Around Vaccines Is Made Up

There are some parents out there that have concerns about adhering to the traditional childhood vaccination schedule due to potential side effects and either forgo them entirely or try to use an alternative schedule.

Parents points out that pediatricians know darn well that the hype around the supposed side effects of vaccinations is just hysteria that got out of hand and that there really isn’t any need to be concerned. Of course, if they said that to the parents of their patients, there is a good chance that they wouldn’t take it well and after all, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. 

6 Self-Diagnosis Isn't Accurate For The Most Part

It is pretty common for concerned parents to feel a bit unnerved by their child’s symptoms and turn to Internet search engines to try and figure out what the heck is going on before they see the pediatrician.

Parents notes that pediatricians won’t mention that self-diagnosis isn’t usually very accurate and it is pretty much impossible to diagnose your child after reading a paragraph or two on the Internet. It is best to let your child’s doctor do their job and once they have made an accurate diagnosis, head to the Internet to read up about it if you want.

5 Unable To Ask Patients Open-Ended Questions

According to Ideal Medical Care, many pediatricians nowadays are pressured into avoiding asking their client and their clients’ parents open-ended questions during the appointment. This includes asking the patient how they are feeling or asking them to divulge what is on their mind.

The reason why doctors are being pressured to avoid such open-ended questions is due to the popular trend of allowing a medical assistant to talk to the patient and identify the one issue that caused their parents to make an appointment with the pediatrician. Not only does this cut appointments in half, but it also means less wait time for patients.

4  Can't Tell An Irate Parent To Calm Down

Physicians Practice notes that even though a pediatrician might dearly want to tell an irate mother or father to calm down and sit back down on the chair, they have to hold their tongue and use diplomacy in order to restore order to the appointment for the sake of their patient.

After all, telling an upset or irate parent to calm down could be interpreted as a callous move and might even lead to all sorts of legal issues. It is far better for pediatricians to keep a level head and let their patient’s parents rant and rave before trying to soothe them.

3 Asking Parents If They Understand The Diagnosis And Treatment

Physicians Practice adds that pediatricians do their best to avoid asking their clients and their parents if they understand the diagnosis that they gave them at the end of the appointment because by and large, most people will say yes even if it is not entirely true.

In order to make sure that your client’s parents follow through with the treatment plan, it’s much better to ask them if they could explain in their own words if they understand the diagnosis and what they have to do in order to make sure that their little one returns to tip-top health.

2 Overusing Medical Jargon

Physicians Practice adds that pediatricians won’t use complicated medical jargon when talking to their patients or their parents because let’s face it, most people don’t know or have the background to understand that kind of terminology and it would go right over their heads or possibly just leave them confused as heck about what’s going on.

Pediatricians do their best to use non-complicated terms when describing their patient’s diagnosis and the kind of treatment (including things like antibiotics or anti-itch creams for rashes) so that the child and his or her parents don’t wind up getting confused or misunderstand what’s going on.

1 Scolding Mom And Dad For Withholding Important Information From Them

It can be very tempting for pediatricians to want to scold their client’s parents after they discover that they were less than honest. For example, if they claimed that they forgot to give their child their daily dose of a medication such as an antihistamine or if they fibbed about how many hours a day their child was allowed to watch television.

However, Parents notes that any good pediatrician knows that scolding their clients’ parents isn’t going to do any good and it is far better to stay calm even when they’re seething on the inside so that they will be inspired to be more honest in the future.

Sources: WTop, Chill Dad, Parents, Women's Health, Cosmopolitan, Ideal Medical Care, Physicians Practice, Kevin MD, Quartz, Inc, Boston Children's Hospital, Trusted Choice

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