Dr. Irina Smith sees herself as both your pediatrician and a partner in your health care. In her practice, she has the opportunity to work alongside parents and children to provide the best care possible for her patients.
“Just like any relationship, communication is key,” says Dr. Smith. “I am here to not only treat illnesses and injuries, but to also help parents and children navigate the ups and downs of childhood. Consistent and open communication allows us to work together closely and ensure the best outcomes.”
Every parent knows, a visit to the pediatrician’s office can be hectic—especially with other children in tow! It is often long after the appointment that the parents remember the things they meant to ask the doctor.
Below is a checklist Dr. Smith offers parents and caregivers to help get the most out of their next visit:
1. Be sure to Discuss Over the Counter Medications – There can be serious side effects from prolonged or misuse of over the counter medications. Even though many over the counter drugs are approved for use in adults and children, your pediatrician can offer recommendations for the most effective medications as well as the most appropriate dosages.
2. Supplements and Alternative Medications – While these drugs may be seen as low risk and even healthy, they aren’t without side effects and may counteract with medications. Always discuss supplements like vitamins, probiotics, herbal supplements and topical treatments your child is taking with your pediatrician.
3. Healthy Weight – Your pediatrician can discuss recommended weight ranges for your child and provide you with healthy eating guidelines and recommendations that will work for your family’s needs.
4. Changes in Behavior – At some point, most children will show changes in behavior and even experience issues at school. Your pediatrician can help put your mind at ease or discuss possible causes for the behavior, such as depression, abuse or mental health issues. Talking with your pediatrician about your concerns will allow you to address these changes and move forward confidently.
5. Vaccinations –Talking with your pediatrician about the vaccinations and how they will protect your child will help you to feel confident about your decisions and your child’s health.
6. Where to Get Information – These days our newsfeed is filled with “experts” promoting one thing or bashing another. This makes it hard for parents to know what to believe. Your pediatrician will point you to trusted sources, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, that offer scientifically backed information and tools.
“It is important not to just bring your child to the doctor’s office when he or she is sick,” advises Dr. Smith. “By scheduling a wellness visit, you are setting aside a time to be proactive about your child’s health and taking time to track their development. This is how we can be true partners in health and work together to ensure your child’s health and wellness.”
Dr. Irina Smith is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics with over 20 years of experience. She cares for pediatric patients ages 18 and under at the White-Wilson Pediatric Clinic in Destin where she is currently accepting new patients. Learn more about Dr. Smith here.