What to carry:
Doctor’s Documents (The Doc’s docs)
Be sure to walk with all of your “Doc’s docs”. It is important to keep all documents related to your child’s health together in a waterproof “ziplock” style bag. Each child should have a clearly labelled bag of their own. These bags must be stored in a safe place with easy access.
The bag must contain:
1) The Child Health and Development PASSPORT is a must!
- If your child was born before Sept 2010, then their immunization card is necessary,
- If your baby was issued a health passport at UHWI include that too. Since it is quite big you might need to fold it and use a bigger bag to contain it completely.
2) Any casualty card, docket number or appointment card for any hospital or clinic to which the child has been. This will make it much easier to co-ordinate care and prevent unnecessary retesting.
3) Any unfilled or repeat prescriptions and a list of all current medications (if you don’t wish to bundle them all up and carry them with you) the information on the boxes is quite valuable: strength of medication, dose and frequency may all require adjustment to improve response. Walk with everything!
4) Insurance cards: this is a great way to make sure you don’t mix up Daddy and junior’s cards… not an uncommon occurrence.[[MORE]]
The bag may also include:
- Copies of results for previously done tests, or a note with the date, facility attended and impression of the test.
- Summary notes from any other physicians seeing your child, especially if they have a chronic illness.
- A notebook: with all your questions jotted down from at home. This will also allow you to record important points from the visit: scheduled instructions, flag signs of concern, points for follow-up, and other tips. Some “Techies” keep this lists on their smart phones 🙂
- Pictures or a videos of anything that has triggered your visit, made you concerned or is simply hard to explain. This can be anything from a funny sound, an unusual lump, a strange bowel action. Never be shy to share it with your doctor. A picture is worth a thousand words.
You are the child’s primary playmate during the wait AND during the office visit when you are trying to communicate with the doctor. Be prepared! Carry two or three sturdy, under-used toys to increase the appeal of “re-discovery” when they are revealed in the waiting room. An old handbag, with a few small toys tucked inside, can be an excellent waiting-room distraction for toddlers and other young children.
If your child is old enough to read, a book may hold their attention, giving you just enough time to speak to the doctor before they interrupt you.
An ill child usually appreciates their own comfort toy to hug and hold.
FOOD AND CLEAN –UP
Children should not be allowed to have snacks while waiting. It is best not to eat or drink for one hour before coming to the doctor. This will make the examination more comfortable, especially while lying flat. In an acute illness, especially trauma, your child may have to be “starved” even longer. This is to ensure safe administration of strong pain-killers or sedation if, for example, suturing (stitches) or wound cleaning is required. Save the food and drink for after the visit. Hide it where they cannot help themselves to it.
For babies and toddlers take any food and changing items that you would normally travel with for a two hour trip.
Regardless of your child’s age, it is best to carry a change of underwear and a plastic (waterproof) bag. Many children have accidents while at the doctors’ office. Having a change of clothes will help to minimize the stress of a mishap.
Nobody likes to have to go to the doctor, but if you are prepared,
the whole visit can be a truly helpful, healing experience
and a learning opportunity for all involved.