Knowing when your child has outgrown pediatric care

Your child’s pediatrician has always been there for your family—through frantic phone calls and heartbreaking hospitalizations. Now your child is growing up, and you’re thinking about the transition to a family care physician . But is there an age that automatically signals a switch in healthcare providers? The answer really depends on your child, and his or her medical needs and personal preferences. You’ll need personalized guidance from a pediatric doctor who truly knows your family’s situation. That’s why so many parents have chosen Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas—we are committed to providing the personalized, superior care that nurtures long-term relationships with the families we treat.

Your child’s medical privacy
Typically developing children will generally start having private medical exams at around the age of 13. This means you’ll stay in the waiting room. You’ll still have an opportunity to talk to the doctor, as adolescents usually need help to explain their symptoms and ask relevant questions.

This transitional phase sets the stage for your child to take full ownership of his or her healthcare later on.

Your child’s personal preferences
Adolescents are at the age in which being associated with childish settings can be a little embarrassing for them. Your child might be eager to “graduate” to a family care physician, in which case the transition might occur a little earlier than the 18 th birthday. Do seek the pediatrician’s guidance first.

Other kids are nervous about anything that isn’t familiar to them. Your child may wish to stick with the pediatrician for as long as possible. Some pediatricians will continue seeing their patients up to age 21, while others recommend transitioning to family medicine at age 18.

Your child’s medical needs
Some kids have ongoing medical needs that require the attention of a specialist. If your child does, then it might make sense to stick with the pediatrician until at least the 18 th birthday. The pediatrician knows your child well, and can provide the best possible care at this point in his or her life.

However, it’s still wise to start looking for another doctor before your child turns 18. It may take some time to find the right specialist for your child’s unique medical needs in young adulthood. Ask your pediatrician for recommendations.

For all of your child’s medical needs—from infancy through adolescence—you can put your trust in the compassionate, highly trained team at Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas. Pediatricians and specialists choose to work at our children’s hospital because of our firm commitment to superior, family-centered care. Call (702) 233-5437 to request a referral to a pediatrician or specialist.

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