Any parent knows that choosing a pediatric doctor is an extremely important decision. You should feel confident that your child's pediatrician is a good diagnostician who listens to your concerns and can treat your child with sensitivity and the utmost care.
Most children in the U.S. (around 70%) are generally healthy and require infrequent pediatrics to maintain their overall health. Around 20% have mild to moderate chronic conditions, such as regular ear infections and asthma, that require further specialized attention. The remaining 10% have serious chronic problems, such as congenital heart conditions or juvenile diabetes, which may require intensive management throughout their lives.1
When your child is sick or if their development is impeded by a condition or disease, it can be a stressful and worrying time. The relationship between a family and their pediatrician should be based on open and clear communication, compassion, and trust.
What is a pediatrician?
Symptoms for diseases and conditions can manifest very differently in children and adults, and some treatments are unsuitable for people under the age of 18. Pediatricians are fully trained medical physicians who have undertaken further training to become child specialists. They diagnose and treat physical, behavioral, and mental health issues in babies, children, adolescents, and young adults up to the age of 18.2
In the first 2-5 years of your child's life, frequent visits to your pediatrician are particularly important. As your child is developing so rapidly, pediatric physicians:
- Must conduct routine physical exams to check that he or she is meeting all the physical, behavioral, and skills milestones expected for his or her age.
- Are available to answer any questions or concerns that you might have. Parents play an important role in noticing symptoms.
- Refer you to a specialist in the case that your child should require expert care.
- Vaccinate your child against serious and life-threatening diseases.3
Routine vaccinations are essential to protect your child and the wider community from highly infectious and fatal diseases.
As with any medical procedure, there are potential side effects. In the case of vaccines, the most common side effects are redness, swelling, and irritation at the site of the injection. Less frequently, children might develop a slight fever. Extremely infrequently, there are more serious side effects.4 Exact information and statistics should be freely available at your pediatric clinic, and your pediatrician should openly discuss with you any concerns you may have.
Many childhood immunizations have undergone rigorous testing by the FDA to ensure that the benefits far outweigh the possible risks.5 Misinformation has been widely spread, and may be putting children's lives at risk.
For example, cases of measles, a highly contagious and potentially fatal infection in infants, have soared in the U.S. in recent years. Once considered eliminated from the U.S. through routine vaccinations, there have been 1,256 diagnoses between January and October, 2019.6
Pediatric care in the Bronx
There are certain conditions that are particularly prevalent in the Bronx.7
- The rate of asthma hospitalization for children in the Bronx is 70% higher than the rest of New York City, and a startling 700% higher than the rest of New York State.8
- One in five children in some neighborhoods in the Bronx have asthma.9
- Pollution, second-hand exposure to tobacco smoke, and mold all increase susceptibility to the condition.10
- Nearly 25% of children in public elementary schools in the Bronx are obese, and nearly 40% are overweight or obese.11
- In public high schools in the Bronx, around 15% of students are obese and over 30% are overweight or obese.12
- Type 2 diabetes, once a condition almost exclusively diagnosed in adults, is now increasingly affecting children.13
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common liver disease in children and is also linked to obesity.14
- Bone and joint problems, skin infections, fatigue, and precocious (early-onset) puberty are also increasingly diagnosed in obese children.15
Here at BronxDocs
Our pediatric physicians want to create a partnership you can depend on, helping your children grow from infancy to young adulthood. So, we will always try to meet your individual needs. As a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), BronxDocs has been awarded the highest degree of coordinated care given by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). A PCMH aims to make you feel “at home,” placing you and your family at the center of continuous care and disease prevention management.
We offer health care that revolves around your children and you. Compassionate, evidence-based, and easy to access, our doctors, nurses, and staff are also fun and friendly, and follow a child-centered approach that we've refined over many years.
At our pediatric clinic, we offer walk-in hours five days a week. And, there is always a BronxDocs pediatric doctor on call if needed. We welcome all calls and are here to answer your questions.
Should your child fall ill, we'll be there to assist you. Telephone calls are handled initially by experienced triage staff. To assist the triage staff, please provide your child's name, age, primary pediatrician, and reason you are calling.
Whenever you suspect your child may have a fever, please take his or her temperature (infants rectally) before calling. Having this information available will enable the phone nurse to more accurately assess your child's condition.
1. Edmunds, M “America's Children: Health Insurance and Access to Care.” National Academy Press, Washington, DC (1998) pp120-121. Retrieved from: https://www.nap.edu/read/6168/chapter/9 Oct. 2019.
3. Web MD Staff. “What is a Pediatrician?” (2018)
9. Klein, Jeffrey D. (2011) p3
12. NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Bronx District Public Health Office. (2007)
13. NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Bronx District Public Health Office. (2007)
14. Fusillo, S. & Bryan Rudolph “Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.” Pediatrics in Rev. (May 2015);36(5):198-205; quiz 206. doi: 10.1542/pir.36-5-198.
15. Smith, SM et al. “Musculoskeletal pain in overweight and obese children.” International journal of obesity (2005) vol. 38,1 (2014): 11-5. doi:10.1038/ijo.2013.187