Allury Arora Lal, MD, Pediatrician, Mom, and Founder/Chief Medical Officer of Urgent Care for Children
Being a parent and a pediatrician is a double-edged sword. I’m a mom first and I worry like everyone else about my children’s health, but perhaps even more since I’m also a pediatrician who cares for the illnesses and urgent health issues in other people’s children daily. Separating motherhood from being a doctor can be a challenge but has also taught me valuable lessons that help me be the best parent – and pediatrician – possible.
Lesson #1: Trust your gut.
It’s a challenge to assess a child during a 10 or 15-minute doctor’s visit, especially when they are not feeling well. Whatever your child may have – a fever, a sore throat, or something more, trust your instincts. Share the symptoms with the provider taking care of your child in a respectful and trustworthy tone. You know your child best as their parent. If you’re concerned about any changes in your child, whether physically or mentally, feel confident to discuss and have confidence in the plan the provider suggests. At Urgent Care for Children, you’ll never be judged or questioned about your concerns. No question is unimportant. We’ll also trust your gut as the parent.
Lesson #2: Not every sneeze, scratchy throat, or cough is Covid.
As a parent, I too have grown tired of Covid and the worry associated with its mention. As a pediatrician, however, I know that Covid is here to stay. We’ve come a long way over the past couple of years in understanding, managing, and treating this virus and it has become a manageable disease, especially in kids. But Covid continues to evolve and remains in circulation throughout our population, especially now that kids have gone back to school and will be indoors more as the weather turns cooler. My advice to parents as a pediatrician is to follow the recommendations and guidance of the experts, especially when it comes to vaccination recommendations. This virus and how it is evolving is still new to us as doctors and as parents.
Of course, not every sniffle or sneeze needs antibiotics in children. If your child displays symptoms, keep them home and save a spot with us to assess and counsel you regarding their care. Let’s work together to keep our kids, and our communities, safe and healthy.
Lesson #3: Know whom to call when it’s urgent and seek care that specializes in pediatrics.
When your child breaks out in a full-body rash, has a barking cough, or has an injury, seek treatment from a qualified medical provider and not “Dr. Google” or a Facebook parenting group. Get your child care from a professional whose focus is children’s health. As a parent, I want my children cared for by providers who specialize in pediatrics, which is exactly why I founded Urgent Care for Children. Having pediatricians on-site is what makes us different. Pediatricians are specially trained to care for children from birth through the end of adolescence. This background is important, especially when seeking urgent care for a child. Our team is keenly focused on the unique healthcare needs of children and has the training required to identify their specific health issues. As a sensory-inclusive practice, our staff is also trained to care for kids with sensory needs. Pediatric providers also understand the emotional needs of our patients. We know how to physically examine a child who is crying, fearful, and anxious. We understand how to calm a child in pain or win over a fussy toddler who needs bloodwork or an X-ray. Stickers help. As does our expertise in pediatric care.
We are here for you and your children 365 days a year.
As a parent and a pediatrician, I know that illnesses and injuries don’t always happen during normal business hours. That’s why our staff is here for you every day of the year including late evenings, holidays, and weekends.
Next week, we’ll discuss what to look for in urgent care. Not all urgent care centers are created equal, especially when it comes to pediatrics. Until then, stay healthy and happy.