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Raising a child comes with no handbook, but we’ll do what we can here. For the area of keeping your child healthy you’ve probably got the basics nailed. They are eating their greens and brushing their teeth, but there are probably a few little things that you hadn’t even given thought to. We go into more detail here. Read on for tips on those little talked about elements of child health.
Choosing their doctor
When it comes to choosing your child’s doctor, the main choices come down to what is close. And that is a valid question, you need to get there quickly from work, school, childcare, home, etc. but it is not the only question when considering your child’s doctor.
If you don’t want to go with your own GP, visit the GP practices in your area. Make sure the offices are pleasant and clean so that you feel comfortable having your child treated in this office.
If you have any recommendations, either from friends and family or from other professionals, like your delivery nurse, look into them and use them as a reason to shop around. If you can, meet your potential doctor, and make sure they have all the qualifications necessary to practice.
Taking them to the dentist
Being scared of the dentist is the oldest cliché, and for good reason: it’s usually true. The problem with dentist anxiety is that it can often deter patients from visiting the dentist if they really need to, preferring to live with a toothache than face the vague consequences of seeing the dentist.
You don’t want to encourage that. Keeping a clean mouth is the best way to avoid a painful treatment, like a filling, but part of the oral health routine is regular check-ups every six months.
Lead by example when going to the dentist. Keep yourself calm and your child will see that there is nothing to be scared of. If you can, get an appointment together, and get into the chair first, so that your child can see that their parent isn’t being hurt by the man in the mask.
Most kids are just scared by not knowing what’s coming, so it would probably be most helpful to calmly explain what is going to happen at the dentist. This will allow them to know the broad strokes of what is happening without having any particular reason to panic. For all they know, the dentist is as fun as the park as there are many innovations in dentistry to keep your children healthy.
Should the worst happen, and your child needs extensive treatment for a condition or injury, a question of consent comes into play. Medico-legal advice company Incision, outlines Gillick competence and the priority list of people who can offer or withdraw consent to medical treatments.
It is something to think about when you are making worst-case scenario plans for the future, such as when considering godparents, guardians and life insurance.
Gillick says that any adult of “sound mind” can provide consent to medical treatment, but when it comes to children, there is a chain of command that starts with the child’s mother and goes all the way to a local authority before a child of 16 or 17 can consent or refuse treatment.
Think about who will have your child’s best interest at heart when thinking about who should make these decisions for them before they come of age. Give them a stress-free lifestyle in the meantime keep them as informed as possible on any conditions that may arise over their lifetime, including hereditary conditions and family history.