One day you stepped into the pediatrician’s office with your child for the very first visit. The next thing you know, they may be too old to be visiting a pediatrician anymore.
You have probably wondered what is the right age when your child can (or should) switch from a pediatrician to an adult physician.
Young adults have different medical needs than a child, and they are susceptible to different conditions. From coping with hormonal changes to counseling about birth control or an eating disorder, the needs of a young adult will vary.
If you’re trying to figure out the right age or moment for your kid to move on from the pediatrician, it helps to speak to your child’s pediatrician.
Factors to Consider: Age and Health
Pediatricians are well versed in the developmental stages of a young person, from childhood through the teenage years. The child’s continuity of care, established doctor-patient relationship, and experience are great tools in handling their reproductive health, mental health, and sports-related issues.
However, your child may be more comfortable with a new doctor for adult-related issues like contraception, STD or AIDS screening, or questions about sexual health. As the child grows older, they won’t want to see a doctor whose exam rooms are plastered with cartoon character stickers and painted in pastel colors.
While it’s OK if a doctor’s office has balloons, toys, children’s books, and smaller tables in the waiting room, it shouldn’t be a “baby doctor.”
Be Prepared to Stay in the Waiting Room
At some point, your child’s doctor may ask you to wait in the waiting room while your child’s medical exam is performed or during a doctor-patient discussion. By age 13, your child will need to have one-on-ones with their physician to allow them to develop a rapport and learn how to speak directly to their doctor.
It’s also a matter of doctor-patient confidentiality. This allows them to share whatever is on their mind with their doctor. For teens who are embarrassed to talk about an issue with or around their parents, this creates a safe place where they can speak freely.
At What Age Should They See an Adult Physician?
Most pediatricians will care for kids until they’re 18, though there are some who will continue to see young patients up to age 21. Individuals with complex medical issues may stay with their pediatrician longer because the doctor is familiar with their needs.
Pediatricians in Northeast Massachusetts
Children always do best when they receive excellent pediatric care. If you want specialized health care for your child from childhood until they reach adulthood, find a skilled and notable pediatrician.
At Children’s Health Care (CHC), we can give you and your children the expert medical care and attention you need. We specialize in assisting with the transition from infant care to toddler care with our full circle-of-care model. We’ll help you navigate your child’s various health care needs as they grow – so they can thrive.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation at Children’s Health Care of Massachusetts. CHC looks forward to partnering with you to help your child achieve the healthiest childhood possible.