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Best pediatricians near me in Dallas, TX

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About Pediatricians

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What is a pediatrician?

Pediatricians are medical doctors (MDs) with the specialized training and clinical experience to provide primary care for children. Pediatricians offer diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive medicine for young people from infancy through adolescence.

Like other primary care providers, pediatricians as the initial point of contact for a family with the rest of the health care system. This means your child will usually see a pediatrician before seeing any specialists. If a more specific form of treatment is needed, a pediatrician will offer a referral to the appropriate specialist.

Looking to book a pediatrician appointment for your child? Sesame has you covered. Sesame has partnered with hundreds of nationwide health care providers to offer affordable and convenient pediatric care near you.

Here’s how to book an appointment:

  • Search “Pediatrician” in Sesame’s search bar
  • Browse the list of available providers near you
  • Choose between video and in-person services
  • Pick a time that works best for your schedule
  • Book your visit!

Sesame offers both in-person and online visits. If you book a video appointment, you will receive an email with a link to join the visit. You will also be able to access this link in another reminder email you will receive 30 minutes before the appointment start time and within your account.

Sesame works via a web link. There is no need to download software for a telehealth appointment on Sesame. Sesame works on all modern web browsers.

Not sure if your child needs to see a doctor in person? We recommend in-person visits for routine check-ups, chronic condition consultations, and lab testing. Video visits are used to address symptoms, discuss prescriptions, and screen for certain conditions.

Why should my child see a pediatrician?

Pediatrics is a form of primary care, the cornerstone of health care in the United States. A pediatrician has the clinical experience and training to diagnose and treat thousands of acute and chronic conditions. They will also monitor your child’s physical, behavioral, and mental development as they grow older while working with parents to ensure the patient’s general wellness.

Some of the most common reasons to see a pediatrician include:

Well visits: Well visits–also known as well-child visits–are routine checkups that monitor a child's development and assess the child’s overall well-being. Well-child visits play a key part in preventive health care. During these visits, a pediatrician will measure a child's growth, track developmental progress, and share medical advice that assists with the child's wellness.

Vaccination: A vital component of a child's defense against numerous diseases, pediatricians administer vaccines during an annual well-child check. Kids should begin a vaccination program at around 1-2 months to protect them from polio, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, pneumococcal, rotavirus, and more. Consult the CDC recommendations for further details regarding a child's immunization regimen.

Developmental concerns: Pediatricians track a child’s growth and development, including physical, mental, and behavioral development. A pediatrician will work with parents to understand what developmental milestones to look for as the child grows up and what to do if those milestones aren’t met. If further treatment is needed, a pediatrician may refer you and your child to a developmental pediatrician for specialized care.

What conditions can a pediatrician treat?

As fully-licensed primary care providers, pediatricians have the training and experience to treat hundreds–if not thousands–of conditions in young people from infancy to adolescence and all backgrounds.

The most common acute conditions treated by pediatricians include:

  • The common cold/ flu
  • Sore throat/ strep throat
  • Stomach flu (gastroenteritis)
  • Bronchitis
  • Ear infections
  • Skin infections (like impetigo)
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Sinus infections
  • Bladder infections (UTIs)
  • Chickenpox

In addition to treating acute illnesses like those listed above, pediatricians play a key role in managing chronic conditions in children.

Chronic conditions commonly seen in children include:

  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Obesity

Pediatricians will also track and manage a child’s development throughout their youth. In infancy, this means tracking certain measurables like weight and skeletal structure. As the child gets older, this also means diagnosing and treating developmental disorders like:

  • ADHD
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Autism
  • Dyslexia/ dysgraphia/ dyscalculia
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
  • Aphasia (an inability to understand or express speech)

According to the CDC, nearly 1 in 6 children have some sort of developmental disability. Pediatricians manage these conditions by offering treatment options and medical advice for the family to help support the child.

Can pediatricians diagnose and treat childhood obesity?

Childhood obesity is an epidemic in the United States. The CDC estimates that over 19% (or 14.7 million) of children have obesity.

To diagnose obesity, pediatricians will calculate a child’s body mass index (BMI) and compare that figure to the recommended BMI for children of that age. Obesity is calculated through percentiles. So, if a child is in the 90th percentile for BMI, 90% of children have a lower BMI than that child.

If a child’s BMI is in the 85-94th percentile, that child is considered overweight. If their BMI is 95% or higher, that child has obesity. When diagnosing obesity, a pediatrician will also consider familial and developmental factors–like body frame–.

If a child is diagnosed with obesity, pediatricians will work with the family to modify eating habits and increase physical activity to help the child lose weight.

Healthy eating habits for children include:

  • Increased prioritization of fruits and vegetables
  • Portion control
  • Mindful eating (not eating in front of the TV or while distracted)
  • Decreasing the intake of sugary beverages like soda and fruit juices
  • Avoiding fast food and processed foods

In some cases, weight loss medication may be prescribed in conjunction with healthy eating habits and increased physical activity to help a child lose weight. However, a pediatrician may recommend weight-loss surgery if these therapies are ineffective or the child is severely overweight. Before a child undergoes weight loss surgery, the pediatrician will likely refer the family to weight-loss specialists, dieticians, and psychologists to ensure that surgery is suitable for the child.

Childhood obesity in Dallas

Texas is experiencing a steadily worsening obesity crisis. National rates of obesity have consistently climbed since 2011, with Texas experiencing an overall increase of 10-15%. As of 2016, the CDC estimates that 16.3% of children between the ages of 2 and 4 are overweight, while 15.9% of children in that age group had obesity. Recent findings by the Trust for America’s Health suggest that those numbers may be even higher now that rates have increased. The Trust for America’s Health study also found that 17.3% of children between the ages of 10-17 have obesity in Texas.

Pediatric care can help children with weight management solutions while preventing further complications like diabetes. In addition, annual pediatric appointments protect children from acute diseases and conditions while preventing serious chronic conditions like obesity.

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