June 29, 2007, Newsletter Issue #105: When to Take the Child to the Pediatrician

Tip of the Week

Children who are adopted internationally should visit the pediatrician within two weeks of entering the United States. Parents will want to have the child examined for any acute illnesses or chronic conditions that may need immediate treatment. Since the medical history may be sparse for internationally adopted children, it is important for parents to have them completely assessed.

All adopted children should have a complete physical examination and should have their medical history reviewed. They should complete age-appropriate screening tests, and be assessed on their growth and development. Internationally adopted children may also need to be tested for infectious diseases that may be common in their country of origin.

Additionally, the doctor should make sure the child is up-dated on all necessary vaccinations. Sometimes children in foreign countries are not immunized or are underimmunized. In other cases, the records kept by the country may be inaccurate to the immunizations or the dosage of the immunizations that the child has had. Having another group of vaccinations for the child is typically safe and bypasses the need to test the child for previous vaccinations.

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