Find top-rated pediatricians in Long Beach, CA

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Best pediatricians near me in Long Beach, CA

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About Pediatricians

Pediatrics 101

Pediatrics is a branch of medicine that deals explicitly with the diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative aspects of children’s health. Most children first see a pediatrician within 3-5 days after birth and continue to do so until they are 17–18. Pediatric medicine is technically a subspecialty of primary care, the cornerstone of health care for all ages.

All board-certified pediatricians have specialized education in children's health. There are also pediatricians with health care specialties - like pediatric cardiologists, dermatologists, and neurologists. These doctors are qualified to diagnose and treat acute and chronic diseases and can often offer preventative care. As fully-licensed primary care providers, pediatricians have the training and experience to treat hundreds of conditions in young people ranging in age from infancy to adolescence.

Common reasons to see a pediatrician

As a form of primary care, pediatrics serve as the initial contact for patients in the health care system. It is common for parents to take their children to a pediatrician before seeing a specialist. These medical providers also offer comprehensive care that will track the overall wellness of a child and prevent possible medical issues from occurring.

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 are crucial in preventive health care, measuring a child's growth, tracking developmental progress, and receiving medical advice that assists with the child's wellness.

Immunizations: Often performed during an annual well visit, immunizations protect a child from various diseases. At about 1-2 months, a child should start a vaccination schedule to immunize them against polio, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, pneumococcal, rotavirus, and more. For more information about a child’s vaccination schedule, refer to the CDC’s guidelines.

Developmental concerns: Pediatricians track a child’s growth and development. This includes physical, mental, and behavioral development. A pediatric doctor 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 being hit.

What is a well visit?

Well visits—also known as well-child visits—are routine check-ups for your child.

These visits help ensure that children remain healthy and allow parents to catch any problems before they become serious. During these appointments, pediatricians will typically check the physical growth of children, discuss immunizations and other vaccinations, and answer any questions or concerns parents may have about their child’s health. They can also provide advice on nutrition and exercise for growing children and guidance on safety issues.

Here’s what to expect during a well-child visit:

Physical exam: The pediatrician or family medicine physician will perform a full-body physical exam to check for infections and abnormalities. The skin of the child will be visually inspected for jaundice. A stethoscope will be used to check for breathing difficulty and heartbeat regularity. The organs in the abdomen, as well as the genitalia, will be checked for infection or abnormal lumps. The bone structures in the head are lightly examined to ensure that the bones in the skull are forming and joining correctly.

Measurements: During the physical exam, the pediatrician, or family medicine physician, will measure the child's body to track development and growth. For example, a special tape will be used to measure the child's head circumference. These measurements are recorded on a growth chart that tracks the child's growth curve.

Immunizations: At certain times during the child's growth, it will need vaccines to help protect against disease and illness. The CDC and the AAP have released recommended immunization schedules to help parents stay on schedule with vaccinations and disease prevention. Immunizations help boost a child's immune system while protecting against diseases such as tetanus, polio, measles, hepatitis B, mumps, chickenpox, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).

Motor skills and development check: Doctors will check the child's developing motor skills with a few simple tests. This includes checking whether or not a child turns toward sound and if their eyes follow a particular sight. In addition, a doctor may ask about social behaviors (such as imitation of sounds and facial expressions) and skills such as crawling, standing, and reaching.

Well-visit schedule

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the largest professional organization of pediatricians, recommends that children receive well-child visits per the following schedule:

  • Within the first week after birth (3 to 5 days old)
  • 2 weeks to 4 weeks after birth
  • 2 months old
  • 4 months old
  • 6 months old
  • 9 months old
  • 12 months old
  • 15 months old
  • 18 months old
  • 2 years old (24 months)
  • 3 years old

After 3 years of age, the AAP recommends that a child get a check-up annually.

Booking Pediatric Care on Sesame

With pediatricians and primary care physicians across the Long Beach area, Sesame offers convenient in-person and video consultations (often with same-day availability) in your neighborhood.

How to schedule an appointment:

  • Search "Pediatrician" in Sesame’s search bar
  • Explore the list of nearby service providers
  • Choose from video or in-person services
  • Choose a time that best accommodates your schedule
  • Book your visit!
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