(Reuters Health) – Parents can make the most of their time at their child’s routine pediatrician visits by preparing for each appointment, according to a new resource published in JAMA Pediatrics.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children see a pediatrician regularly and often during their first three years of life.

“Parents’ time is becoming more and more precious, and these appointments are so frequent, that we want to help people make the most of that time,” said Dr. Maheen Quadri of Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, who co-wrote the one-page primer intended for parents and caregivers.

“One of the most important things we do during these visits is give vaccines,” Quadri said in a phone interview. “Before appointments, it’s important to know what’s up-to-date.”

The freely accessible patient page (bit.ly/2MJ6OyI) emphasizes the best ways for parents to prepare children and their medical files before meeting with doctors.

“It’s also really valuable to have that one-on-one time with a doctor, especially when we have so many resources online with different medical advice,” she said. “Having that connection with a person who has expertise can be a source of support as you go through the new experience of parenting.”

Quadri and co-author Megan Moreno of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison first recommend knowing your child’s history and family’s history to ensure that medical records are accurate and up-to-date. Don’t forget to transfer them if seeing a new clinician, and consider taking a folder with your child’s records to appointments.

The doctor will ask questions about your child’s health, your family’s health and your child’s development at every visit. It helps to be familiar with developmental milestones,…

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Mayra Rodriguez

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Mayra Rodriguez
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