Finding the right pediatric health practitioners for your child is important. You’ll want your child to feel welcomed, comfortable, and supported with whatever practitioner you’re seeing, and you’ll want to make sure that the practitioner has the right expertise and availability to meet your family’s needs.
Here is some guidance that I provide to families on finding the right pediatric acupuncturist for their family.
- Availability: Pediatric medical conditions require that you may want last-minute appointments, you may need to make last-minute cancellations, and you won’t want to be spending all your time in the car. Check to see what practitioners are in your area and what their hours are. Will you be able to see them without constantly pulling them out of school? Is their schedule flexible enough to accommodate your family’s needs? What is their cancellation policy and is there flexibility if there are last-minute illnesses, positive COVID test results, or other issues that come up?
- Training: There are a lot of brilliant and caring acupuncturists but not many work specifically with children and families. While a lot of the diagnosis and treatment can be similar between children and adults, there are special considerations for working with children. Does the practitioner provide soft/welcoming treatments so that young children will be willing and excited to return for follow-up visits? Is the practitioner used to communicating with parents as well as children about specific issues as well as treatment plans and any lifestyle or diet changes that will be needed? Is the practitioner aware of child-specific issues such as recurrent ear infections, certain respiratory viruses, colic, or other issues arising for young children?
- Herbal knowledge: Before you start with a practitioner you should consider whether or not you would like to include herbal therapy for your child. Some acupuncturists are well trained in herbal therapy, and specifically for kids, and others do not have an herbal focus. Herbal therapy is a good way to continue treatments daily and to encourage faster recover than acupuncture alone, but may not be needed for all conditions.
Do you have additional questions about finding a pediatric acupuncturist? I’d be delighted to help you find the best fit for your family!