With the easy availability of a child specialist in Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur, and other Tier 2 cities, getting good medical care for your children is easy.But, no parent wishes to see his or her child suffer from an illness. A diagnosis of illness in a child can be one of the most devastating events in a parent’s life. One of the best coping mechanisms that can be adopted by the parents is being informed. Treating an illness in a child could be complex and difficult to understand. It is important that you ask questions to your child’s doctor to be completely clear about the diagnoses and what you should expect. The best child specialists even encourage parents to ask questions. It is also necessary that you as a parent understand why certain tests are needed and what the available treatment options are. Remember, as a parent of a child undergoing treatment for an illness, you are entitled to a clear explanation about everything related your child’s condition and treatment.
If you are confused about the questions you should be asking your child specialist, here are some suggestions that will guide in the right direction:
Questions about the Illnesses
- When will my child begin feeling better?
You should also ask for signs or indications that your child will show if she/he is getting better. Similarly, ask about the signs that may indicate complications or the worsening of the illness. The best child specialist is one who will be able to answer these questions in a satisfying manner.
- Are there any symptoms that I should be aware off in order to correctly monitor the illness?
This will allow you to keep a track of important signs that will help monitor your child’s illness as she/he undergoes treatment.
- What if I notice signs of complications?Is there a way I can contact you after hours or in case of an emergency?
As a parent, you should be aware of where and whom to contact in case of an emergency.
- Can my child go back to school? Should the school be made aware any special precautions or requirement with regards to my child?
Questions about Medications
- When I should give the medicine?
- If the prescription says “three times a day”, does this mean one dosage every 8 hours, including during the night or does it mean three times during the daytime?
- When my child goes to school, will she/he need to take the medication during school hours or can the medicine wait till the child comes back home?
- Should my child take his/her medication before, during, or after the meals?
- Are there any specific foods which should be avoided with the medicines?
- Can my child take the medicine with other medications?
- Is there any possible side effects or allergic reactions that I should be aware of?
Questions about Tests
- Why are these tests prescribed? What will we learn from these tests?
- Has my child undergone these tests before?
- Can we coordinate the tests done earlier with the tests prescribed now?
- How long will the prescribed tests take and what is involved?
- Is there anything that I should tell my child to prepare him/her for the tests?
- Can my child eat before the test?
- Is there any precaution that I should take before, during, or after the tests?
Questions You May Need to Ask If You are Referred to a Specialist
- Why is a referral to the specialist being made? Is it to get a second opinion or is it for diagnosis?
- Is there a need for me to carry the medical records of my child or will they be sent in advance?
- Who will be interpreting the reports of the evaluation by the specialist? Who will discuss these reports with me?
You can also ask where these tests will be performed. Will there be a need to visit a children’s hospital for them or can they be performed at a regular hospital?
Other Helpful Tips
- Remember to keep asking questions until you fully understand the answers. Come prepared with questions before your visit to your child’s doctor and start by asking those that are the most vital to you. Your child undergoing treatment for an illness can be overwhelming at times and it can be very difficult for you to understand all the information that is being shared with you. Take notes; better still, bring along a relative or a friend to take notes for you.
- Keep a list of all medicines that your child is taking. This should include the doses, the period of time used, results, and their side effects, if any. Ask you pharmacist about the medicine if it looks different from what you were expecting.
- Similarly, keep a file with the results of the all the tests that your child has undergone. Don’t jump to assumptions that tests results are fine if you don’t hear from your child’s doctor. Call and ask for the results and also ask what the results mean for your child’s treatment.
- If your child is suffering from a serious medical condition that requires surgery, makes sure that you know what will happen. Try to find everything about the surgery, like how often it is performed, what will be done, how long will the procedure take, what will happen after the surgery, and how will your child feel during the recovery period.
Also, it is important to ask about the treatment that is being prescribed for your child. As parents, you should understand the diagnoses, for how long you are supposed to give the prescribed medicine, and what dosage to give. Never hesitate to ask your doctor for clarifications and instructions. Remember the best child specialist won’t refrain from answering any query.