1. There is a difference between doing what is optimal and what is practical. For example, consider the 4-year-old child with a strep throat who categorically refuses oral medicine, even when disguised. He can be given 1 injection of penicillin G benzathine rather than having the parents struggle to get 10-days’ worth of amoxicillin in him. For any fever, that can be left to run its course rather than wrestling the child to insert acetaminophen suppositories.
2. I am very fond of parents recording their children when ill. This is extremely helpful for diagnosing croup, possible seizures, tics, transient rashes, and more.
3. Being able to access video on a tablet or similar piece of equipment is not nearly as advanced as parents think. As such, I have to take the parents’ pride into account when discouraging electronic use in young children.
4. Educational videos/TV are still more entertainment than education. Hands-on play, books, and imitating/interacting with others are still the best ways to go to teach children.
5. Reading to a child from an actual book is better than reading from an e-book (although the latter is still so much better than not reading at all). There is something different about the parent-child interaction over a real book, which is beneficial.1
6. I tell parents that when they drag themselves to the doctor for a sick visit, they usually know they have something more serious and are likely to get an antibiotic. They have a much lower threshold for bringing in their child, who is more likely to have a virus and not need the prescription.
7. If a parent has a treatment he or she wants for his/her child (eg, myringotomy tubes, vision therapy), I usually know a provider with a low threshold who will be happy to comply, but I will normally only refer to that particular provider if I agree with the treatment proposed.
1. Chiong C, Ree J, Takeuchi L, Erickson I. Print books vs. e-books, Comparing parent-child co-reading on print, basic, and enhanced e-book platforms. A Cooney Center QuickReport. Available at: http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/jgcc_ebooks_quickreport.pdf. Published Spring 2012. Accessed February 13, 2019.