As a parent, your child’s safety is probably one of the most important things to you. Because of this, choosing a pediatrician is a big deal. It means that you’re putting your child’s health and well-being in the hands of someone else. Of course, you hope that that person is capable. While there is no way to guarantee that the pediatrician you choose is going to make all of the right choices when it comes to your child, here are a few protective measures that you can take to ensure that you hire the right pediatrician. Following these tips can help to keep your child safe.

1. Follow Recommendations

Especially if it is your first time choosing a pediatrician, you don’t necessarily have to do extensive research and background checks to find an effective pediatrician. Ask your friends and family members for some recommendations. This will give you a good feel for the pediatrician even before you meet, and you can trust the opinion of these people who are close to you and your baby.

2. Find the Right Fit

Meet with a few pediatricians if you’re not sure who you should choose. Make sure you ask a lot of questions in order to find out if the pediatrician shares your views on health and health care. Ask questions like:

  • What are your opinions on holistic healthcare?
  • Do you use any forms of alternative medicine?
  • What are your views on breastfeeding?
  • What are your views on circumcision?
  • How do you feel about immunization?

Asking questions like these will help you get a feel for how you and this pediatrician will interact in years to come.

3. Waiting List

What is the availability like for appointments? If you have an emergency, will you be seen right away? Will you be able to see the doctor, or just a nurse or assistant? These are all worthwhile questions to consider before choosing a pediatrician.

4. Staff

Remember – you’re not just dealing with one doctor – you’re dealing with the whole staff. Get a feel for the receptionists, nurses, and physician assistants. Are they friendly? Are they considerate? Will you feel comfortable relying on the staff in years to come?

5. What Does Your Child Think?

What are your child’s thoughts on this pediatrician? Does your child feel comfortable with him or her? Can they communicate openly and honestly? If your child has questions, are they answered directly? If your child is not old enough to tell you these things him or herself, check it out. When dealing with your child, is the doctor friendly? Does he or she seem invested in your child’s health?

There is no way to completely prevent medical errors, but when you’re searching for a pediatrician, there are definitely ways to find the cream of the crop. Following these five tips will help you find a doctor who is knowledgeable, experienced, thorough, and invested in your child’s health.