A pediatric provider is one who manages the physical, behavioral, and mental health of children from birth until age 21. They are trained to diagnose and treat a broad range of childhood illnesses from minor health problems to serious diseases.

Why Do You Need a Pediatric Provider?

Family providers can also provide routine care for children. Choosing between a family provider and a pediatric provider can be a personal preference. Here are some reasons to consider choosing a pediatric provider:

  • They have specialized training in the physical, emotional, and behavioral needs of children.
  • They only see children, so they often have a broader experience recognizing and treating childhood illnesses.
  • If your child was born early or has a health condition that needs close monitoring, a pediatric provider may offer more specialized care.

What Does Your Pediatric Provider Do?

Your pediatric provider will see your child many times from birth to age 2 and annually from age 2 to age 5 for "well-child visits." After age 5, they will likely continue to see your child every year for annual checkups. Your pediatric provider is also the first person to call whenever your child is sick.  In caring for your child, a pediatric provider will:

  • Do physical exams.
  • Give your child recommended immunizations.
  • Make sure your child is meeting developmental milestones in growth, behavior, and skills.
  • Diagnose and treat your child's illnesses, infections, injuries, and other health problems.
  • Give you information about your child's health, safety, nutrition, and fitness needs.
  • Answer your questions about your child's growth and development.
  • Refer to and collaborate with specialists should your child need care beyond the pediatric provider's expertise.