Maximizing Your Checkup-The Village

1 Aug

Bowed Legs


It takes a village to raise a child.  It’s a saying I’ve heard for years and with family situations growing more and more complicated, I find this to be even more true today.  When you consider having 2 parents, sometimes step-parents, grandparents, friends who are caregivers, etc there are lots of opinions and ideas about how a child should be raised.

Even if you don’t have the extra caregivers helping out, random strangers will tell you everything you need to know about raising your child.  If you want to remind yourself, post a simple question on Facebook about a common pediatric issue: teething etc and see how many different answers you get.

I’m about to recommend something that might be counter to what most pediatricians would recommend…when you has you worried about a specific complaint about your child, please bring them to the check up with you!  There are several situation where this can be helpful…

1) Concerns about physical abnormalities: Some of the more common ones I hear concerns from third parties are: flat heads, bow legs, feet turned in , feet turned out and birthmarks.  Often the person has the family so worked up, I can’t convince the parent in front of me that things are normal.  Even if I was able to get my point across, the poor scapegoat in front of me has to run home and be raked over the coals about why I said everything was OK.

2) Concerns about treatment course: The most common examples of these I can think of here are recurrent ear infections (tubes), recurrent throat infections (tonsillectomies) and uncontrolled asthma.  Caregivers can be concerned because “too little” is being done or “too much” is being done.  Either way, I like to explain my treatment plans as fully as possible and it’s often more complicated than can be easily re-explained to someone who is concerned at home.

3) Concerns about vaccines: This is probably the one I think is the most important.  The discussion about vaccines include so many subtleties that I don’t even like to discuss them on this forum.  I don’t think I can truly discuss them well and explain in a way that expresses my heart for why I think they are important on this forum.  I think it is equally difficult to have the conversation with a 3rd party who has concerns about them.  This obviously has its limits but if you are strongly considering not doing vaccines at the request/opinion of a family member or friend, I would prefer they be there in front of us when I am having the conversation about it.

So please let a village raise your child.  I was fortunate enough to be raised in a small town with many family members and a constant flow in and out.  I would love to meet those who are helping you raise your child so that we can all have open and honest discussions about everyone’s concerns, especially if they are causing stress in the house.



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