Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor. Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your baby's appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any signs you've noticed in your baby, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, such as a description of any child care setting or known exposure your child has had to the common cold. And note how frequently your child has had colds, as well as how long they usually last.
- Make a list of all medications that your baby is taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your baby's doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For a common cold, some basic questions to ask the doctor include:
- What is likely causing my baby's symptoms or condition?
- Are there other possible causes?
- What kinds of tests are needed?
- What is the best course of action?
- My baby has these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions that we need to follow?
- Are there over-the-counter medications that are not safe for my child at his or her age?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your baby's doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- When did your baby first begin experiencing signs of a cold?
- Have these signs been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are they?
- What, if anything, seems to improve them?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen them?
What you can do in the meantime
While you wait for your baby's appointment, you can take steps to help make him or her more comfortable. These include moistening the air in your home and using saline and a suction bulb to remove mucus from your child's nose.
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- Cough suppressant and pharmacologic protussive therapy: ACCP evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Northbrook, Ill.: The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP). http://www.guideline.gov/summary/summary.aspx?doc_id=8675&nbr=4840&ss=6&xl=999. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.
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- What to do in a medical emergency: Fever. American College of Emergency Physicians. http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/EmergencyManual/WhatToDoInMedicalEmergency/Default.aspx?id=242&terms=fever. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.
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