Here are a few fun facts: The word "pediatrics" is derived from two Greek words; child and healer. Combined together, they mean "healer of children." And Wikipedia also notes that the Academy of Pediatrics recommends people be under pediatric care up to the age of 21. Wow. That practically spans a good two decades of medical history under the care of a trusted doctor. So these doctors (especially the seasoned ones) would be people who would have seen it all. Eager moms who hang onto every piece of advice, nervous moms who worry too much, skeptical moms who scrutinize every medication prescribed, the chill moms who take it all in stride, or the downright annoying know-it-all mom: Pediatricians have seen them all. Period.
And having dealt with such an array of colorful characters, pediatricians would naturally develop a sixth sense on the things that they should definitely share with parents and certain topics that they would rather keep to themselves. Some moms might ask why pediatricians choose not to bare it all. Why not share every bit of information that could be vital in promoting the well-being of their little patients? Well, we guess some advice or information might just be a tad bit too sensitive to share. But don't worry; here we have a tell-all piece on what juicy information pediatricians would rather bring to their graves than spill.
What Pediatricians Tell Moms
25 Do Not Delay Treatments
Scheduled visits and treatments to the pediatrician's clinic are of vital importance. They allow the doctors to monitor our children's growth and to allow them to prescribe any necessary medications that can combat any possible ailments in the child. And because some parents can be rather lax about follow-ups and treatments, pediatricians usually need to keep nagging at parents not to delay any treatments in order to avoid having any mild illnesses blow out of proportion. So parents, let's be more sensitive to the dates set by the clinic. Adhere to the appointment dates and bring your kids to see the doctor.
24 Reduce The Number Of Visitors
As beautiful and wonderful our newborn may be, doctors usually advise parents to limit the number of visitors for the first few weeks or so. This is because newborn babies have extremely low immunities towards all those bacterias and viruses hanging around. An innocent kiss from Aunt Annie who is just recovering from the flu or a warm hug from Uncle Ben who has a slight cough could render our newborn being hospitalized with drips and respirators. Not exactly the best way to start parenthood. So take it slow in introducing the little one to all your loved ones.
23 Don't Let Siblings Share Toothpaste
Breezymama.com recently interviewed Dr. Gilin of Coast Pediatrics Del Mar and found very interesting information. Apparently, a number of pediatricians advise against having siblings share the same toothpaste. Eyebrows are raised, we know. We were caught off guard too. Didn't most of us grow up sharing toothpaste with our brothers and sisters? Well, that we did but if we look back, didn't most of us get sick together? Hmmm...Well, we all know that toothbrushes can be a home base for multiple kinds of bacteria. And when kids share toothpaste, they are sure to get their toothbrushes all over the toothpaste and its tube. And when one pushes the bristles all the way into the tube, chances are, some of the germs and bacteria might migrate to the toothpaste itself and latch onto the next toothbrush that comes into contact with it. So, it is generally advisable to get each child a separate toothpaste, especially during the flu season.
22 Check Baby's Poop and Pee
Newborns and infants are unable to express themselves to us. If they are hungry, they cry. If they are frustrated, they cry. If they feel sleepy, they cry. If they feel sick, they cry. So basically, the only way for them to communicate with us is by crying. But as intelligent as we homo sapiens may be, sometimes we can be dumbfounded by our baby's cries. And it irks us to the very core, not being able to help out little ones. So one way to determine once and for all if our baby is crying due to stomach discomfort is by checking their poop and pee. Doctors would be more than happy to share with us charts upon charts of how to decipher various kinds of poop.
21 Invest In Good Carseats
We all know how important car seats can be in keeping our children safe. Pediatricians know that too. But because parents can sometimes be in a rush, they tend to allow the car seat to take a back seat (literally) and take a chance with fate. Perhaps, mom is in a rush. Or maybe the baby was kicking up a storm at being strapped in. Whatever the reason may be, pediatricians will be quick to let us know that it takes only one second for an accident to occur. And in that one second, lives might be changed forever. So always remember to buckle up our kids. Let them whine, ignore their cries and protests. They can thank us when they grow up.
20 Fed Is Best
The feud between breastmilk (BM) and formulated milk (FM) has long been ongoing, with no particular side ever coming out victorious. Many moms who are unable to produce sufficient breastmilk usually come under the fire for being 'unfit.' This puts unnecessary stress on the already stressed-out, worried, and tired moms. However, pediatricians are always quick to put moms at ease with the advice that 'fed is best.' So as long as our children are happily downing their milk with no issues, then we as parents can rest our laurels and not worry so much. After all, has worrying ever helped in solving troubles? We don't think so.
19 Wash Your Hands Before Touching The Baby
Pediatricians will be quick to point out the fact that we all need to wash our hands before touching the baby. After all, our hands are one of the most exposed parts of our bodies. The hands come into most contact with germs and bacterias. And as we've mentioned before, babies have very little to no immunity towards all these bad bugs. So always remember, scrub, scrub, scrub using soap and warm water before touching the little ones. And if ever we get lazy one day, just remember, one little step goes a long way in ensuring our children's wellbeing.
18 Do Not Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Being a parent is a blessing. But it is by no means an easy feat, and sometimes we as parents do not know when to give ourselves a break. It's a good thing we have pediatricians though. These doctors know all too well that moms and dads need a break every once in a while to recharge so doctors can be surprisingly sympathetic during treatments and visitations, giving us much-needed advice to ask for help whenever parenthood overwhelms us. Perhaps baby wakes up too often at night, or they are cranky from having caught the flu, or perhaps they have an ongoing rash that just doesn't seem to go away. When mom and dad feel like they've reached a breaking point, do not be ashamed or afraid to ask for help.
17 Does Anyone In The Family Have A History of Food Allergies?
Sometimes, nuts can drive a baby, well, nuts. Other times, their bodies just don't seem to react well to cow's milk. And for some reason, corn soup, cinnamon and a seemingly endless list of food can lead to allergic reactions in the little ones. So it is only natural for doctors to quiz parents for any possible family history of allergies. This is to rule out certain kinds of food that might bring discomfort to the baby. Sometimes, if they see that our kids do not tolerate certain food very well, they would recommend that allergy tests be carried out. A simple prick on the skin (actually there will be quite a number of pricks required) will make it clear once and for all what our kids can chow down and what they should avoid.
16 Preventive Measures For Swimming
The Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has published articles regarding infants and toddlers who were involved in problematic situations in pool and spa drains, and because of this, pediatricians often encourage parents to monitor their children when they are playing in any source of water higher than the children's knee level. As kids can be rather gung-ho when it comes to water play, parents should keep an entrance eye on them lest the kids get into any serious trouble. And as part of routine anticipatory guidance, pediatricians will sometimes hand out flyers (which we as parents sometimes throw away without even giving them a second glance, heh) and give links to certain websites to educate parents on the dangers that water represents to children of different ages.
What Pediatricians Keep From Moms
15 Google Isn't A Doctor
There are things that pediatricians would love to share with us and then, there are things that they would rather keep mum (no pun intended) about. For example, many times, when mom brings her child to visit the pediatrician with say maybe a little ailment, mom would probably have Googled up quite a handful of information regarding the symptoms and treatments beforehand. And it's only natural for a mom to try and make a conversation with the doctor and determine if what she read online was an accurate diagnosis. And while moms only mean to lighten the load, pediatricians secretly grind their teeth and roll their eyes whenever Dr. Google comes into play.
14 Co-Sleeping = No Co-Sleeping
Hundreds, if not thousands, of articles have been written by professionals regarding sleeping with or without the baby. People can argue and debate all they want but pediatricians actually have a little secret that they'd rather not share. The truth is, most pediatricians believe that the benefits of sleeping with the baby don't really outweigh letting the baby sleep by himself/herself. Done properly, the possibility of SIDS can be reduced and the baby will not feel abandoned. So in the pediatrician's mind, so long as mom and dad are able to keep baby safe, the baby can sleep with them and if parents feel they are more comfortable without having a tiny infant snoozing between them then, by all means, let the baby have his or her own space in the crib.
13 Breastfeeding Has More Perks
Ahhhh, this one raises eyebrows, doesn't it? As much as pediatricians say that fed is best, deep down inside these doctorate degree holders would have seen enough cases and patients over the years to know that breastfed babies tend to be generally healthier than formula fed babies. WebMD notes that breastmilk contains a near-perfect mix of vitamins, proteins, and fat for the baby to grow. It is also much easier to digest and leads to a reduction in respiratory issues and hospitalizations. That being said, breastfeeding is a personal matter, as not all moms are able to exclusively breastfeed due to various reasons (lack of milk supply, mastitis, work, etc). Hence, pediatricians will usually keep mum about this issue.
12 Fevers Are Okay
Our kids will occasionally get a fever. That is the norm. The increase in their body temperature means that their bodies are fighting against some microbial invaders. But we as parents tend to freak out when we feel the stinging heat on their foreheads and worry when the thermometer blinks red. We rush our kids to the doctor in a frenzy in search for a remedy to bring down their fever and while pediatricians can empathize with our concern, they never directly tell us that it is okay for our kids to sport mild fever. So as along their fever doesn't shoot above 100.4 degrees F or last more than 24 hours and our kids are actively playing as they have always been, then we really should not fret too much.
11 Antibiotics Are Not The Answer To Everything
The word 'antibiotic' is derived from Greek and carries the meaning 'opposing life.' And by "life," they mean all that bacteria and fungus that give rise to a multitude of ailments. And moms, having been to the doctor's so many times, will come under the impression that antibiotics are a cure it all. However, that is not the case, when pediatricians prescribe medications to parents, they do not normally explain to that antibiotics only work against bacterial infections. This so-called wonder drug is not effective against viruses such as the common flu or influenza (doctors use antiviral drugs for that, not antibiotics).
10 Doctors Listen To Medical Reps
Ever wondered why little Tommy was prescribed medicine A for his cough early this year only to be given medicine B for the same cough a few months later (even though medicine A worked wonderfully)? Sometimes the answer may be as simple as the lack of stock for a particular medicine. Other times, it is because pediatricians have started to favor a newer medication (after listening to very uplifting sales pitches from medical representatives), which supposedly works a hundred times better. The point is, pediatricians, like every other human being, will always want to try something newer in the market. And they do so by meeting with medical reps who are extensively equipped with knowledge about various medications. It's like us wanting to upgrade from an I Phone 6 to an I Phone X after watching the mouth-watering commercials; different fields, same philosophy.
9 They Don't Like 2-For-1 Deals
When we squeeze in little Annie's appointment together with her sister's vaccination unannounced, pediatricians will oblige by treating both kids at the same time. However, this doesn't mean that they like it. Treating an additional child without a prior appointment will very likely disrupt the pediatrician's already-packed schedule of seeing other children. Imagine this, with little Annie and her sister in the clinic, other children's treatment will have to be delayed. And while the delay may take no more than say 15 minutes for us, the 15 minutes could have an enormous impact on little asthmatic John who had to wait in line. So please, as moms, let us all be considerate and book ahead, even if it's for siblings.
8 Don't Freak Out Over Rashes
According to TheBump.com, infants and children are more prone to rashes compared to their adult counterparts. This is mainly due to the fact that kids have more sensitive skin. Hence, the culprits like baby wipes, saliva, baby poop, detergents and even the clothes that they wear can cause the little ones to break out in rashes. Other reasons could be allergies, fungal or viral rash. The thing is, most of the rashes look similar and being anxious parents, we sometimes tend to freak out when our children break out in rashes. And what most docs do not tell us is that a major percentage of the rashes are usually caused by irritants and if the rashes do not spread like a wildfire are not accompanied by fever, then parents should not worry too much.
7 Pediatricians Don't Always Follow Their Own Advice
Hear ye! Hear ye! This is a dirty secret that every pediatrician would rather parents not find out. Come closer...(whispers into your ears). Pediatricians don't always follow their own advice. Gasp! Moms everywhere raise their eyebrows and smirk. Heh, so when the doc says kids shouldn't eat too many chocolates and sweets, they probably have a stash of chocolate bars and candies in their drawers. Or when they advise children to play in the sun more, these doctors probably hole themselves up in their darkened apartments watching reruns of GoT during their free time. So parents, don't be fooled by their professional demeanor. These doctors could give Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep a run for their money.
6 They Don't Know The Prices Of Most Meds
Don't bother asking a pediatrician the price of certain medications. They are doctors for goodness sake, not pharmacists or sales agents. They treat and prescribe medications, not sell them. But most pediatricians do not let on that they are unsure of the price of medicines. When asked, they will either smile courteously or give us an annoyed look before launching into a long lecture on how the medications should be taken and how they will work, but notice, never how much they cost. Plus even if they did know the cost of the medicine, they would probably be unsure of the final price set by the hospital or the clinic's management that factor in a certain percentage for profit.
5 No Q-Tips
Many swear by using Q-tips to remove excess wax from their ears. And the cottony feel of the swab can sometimes be just too nice and fuzzy to resist. However, most pediatricians do not disclose the fact that Q-tips, when used improperly can do more harm than good (could it be because docs like using them either? Hmmm). The site healthyhearing.com states that the use of Q-tips can accidentally cause problems in the ear, more so for kids whose eardrums are still developing and even more sensitive. And on a less sensitive note, the cotton swab could actually be pushing the ear wax deeper into the ear canal than actually helping to remove them. So say bye-bye to Q-tips!
4 Pediatricians Dislike Checking Kids' Ears
Take a look in anyone's ears, and you'll get a whole new definition of the word 'jungle.' Yes, our ear canals are so twisted and full of ear wax and tiny little hair that even Indiana Jones would have gotten lost in it. And for that very reason, pediatricians secretly dislike having to check into our children's ears. Not only are they hard to see, but kids will also usually make a fuss and kick up a storm whenever they feel something obtrusive in their sensitive little ears. Try giving them an ear cleaning session and one might think that they were fighting for their very lives. Such drama. No wonder pediatricians dread ear checks.
3 Flu Vaccines Are Important
While many pediatricians do not insist on having kids get the flu shot, they secretly wish that all moms and dads would sign up for the flu vaccines. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that these flu shots (influenza vaccines) reduce sickness, medical visits, and hospitalizations. Many parents don't understand, however, that these flu shots do not provide a 100% safeguard against all flu viruses and hence, many feel that it is unnecessary. Still, reducing the possibility of getting the influenza virus versus actually contracting it on a regular basis, which choice should a wise parent opt for?
2 Trust The Pediatrician (More Than Relatives)
Pediatricians spend nearly a decade plowing through med school, reading and memorizing heaps upon heaps of medical journals and treating hundreds of children, all with different needs. So if there's something wrong with our children and we are at our wit's end, who do we turn to? Our relatives, course! Sure they may not be medically trained but didn't their kid contract something similar few years back? Shouldn't listen to their advice for medical remedies? Heck no. While pediatricians will not tell us straight in the face, they secretly wish that we as parents would just trust them in treating our kids and not question them with all the alternative treatments suggested by our well-meaning (but obviously not professional) relatives.
1 Doctors Are Learning Something New From Patients Every Day
That being said, however, there will always be something new in the medical field that will surprise pediatricians. And perhaps, uncle Ben or Aunt Martha was right. Perhaps little Sam really got well with the alternative remedies recommended. But being medical professionals, pediatricians would not normally disclose their surprise in learning new to parents. One reason being it would cause parents to question their credibility as a doctor. But hey, even the great Michelangelo once said, "I am still learning." So in a way, it's good that pediatricians learn something new every day. That way, they will be better equipped to treat more and more children in the future.
Sources: momjunction.com, Wikipedia, Reader's Digest