When To Seek Out A Pediatrician Or Specialist For Your Child's Healthcare Needs

4 April 2023
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


As a parent, you want to ensure your child is in the best hands regarding their healthcare. However, knowing when to take your child to a pediatrician and when to seek out a specialist can be confusing. Here's a breakdown of the difference between pediatricians and specialists, what qualifies as an emergency, and how to find the right child doctor for your family.


A pediatrician is a child doctor who has completed additional training in caring for children from birth through late adolescence. A pediatrician can handle many common health issues during childhood, such as colds, ear infections, and broken bones. They also administer regular physicals and immunizations, provide routine screenings and testing services, diagnose illnesses or injuries, treat acute conditions and chronic diseases, offer nutrition counseling, and provide referrals for behavioral health services, such as therapy or counseling.


In some cases, a pediatrician may refer you to a specialist for more advanced treatment or management of your child. A specialist is any child doctor who has undergone additional training in one particular area of medicine, which could be anything from cardiology to ophthalmology. Specialists may be necessary if your child has a chronic illness that requires ongoing care or if they are suffering from an injury or illness that goes beyond what your pediatrician can treat. In these cases, it is best to get a referral from your pediatrician to find the right specialist for your child's specific needs.

Emergency Situations

Sometimes an emergency situation requires you to see a child doctor other than your regular pediatrician or the specialist you have been referred to. For example, if you need to go to the emergency room for a serious injury or illness, you can request a child doctor. If the emergency room has access to a pediatrician, you can request that they care for your child, as pediatric medicine differs from adult medicine. If a pediatrician is unavailable, the hospital will provide you with a qualified doctor for your child's needs. Additionally, if your child has suffered a cut that requires stitches, especially on their face or other visible areas, you can request a plastic surgeon instead of the attending physician.

It's important for parents to know when it's time to take their children to see either their pediatrician or a specialist for any medical concerns they may have. Knowing the difference between these two types of child doctors can help make sure that your child receives proper care. For more information, contact a child doctor near you.