Do no harm–that’s part of the Hippocratic Oath that most medical schools ask their graduates to pledge and abide by. I’m sure most doctors would never intentionally harm any patient, however, I’ve had a couple incidents where my eyebrows went up after comments made by doctors…
Knowledge is Power
My younger grandbubs recently crossed the line from infants to toddlers, each having turned 1 year old. So where did the time go? It seems like I was just flying off to the deliveries of these darn cute bubs! With the 1st year comes another visit to the pediatrician for a well-baby check. I’m grateful beyond words that these boys are both healthy and growing well, but it reminds me that parents—as well as (adult) patients in general—need to be advocates for their children. Being an advocate encompasses having a basic knowledge of the developmental milestones expected of your child and/or researching to verify information given that seems a bit unreasonable.
Ages & Stages—It’s About a Range
Case in point: One of my older grandbubs’ docs told their parents at his 1 year well-baby check he needed to be saying 8 words. If you’re a grandparent or seasoned parent you probably did a double-take with that. But yes, they were told a 1 year old should be speaking 8 words. The bub made sounds and had some words—not all of them complete words, but he got his point across. For example, wa-wa for water; his intent is clear. Not only that, he understood what was asked of him. But the doctor’s comment stressed his Mom; I felt it was unreasonable—and was very skeptical.
Physician Heal Thyself…
I have a lot of respect for those in the medical profession—heck, my sister’s an ER nurse and my daughter is an OB/MFM fellow. BUT that doesn’t mean I defer all to doctors, as if they were gods walking on Earth. And the experience my husband had will show you why!
Poor Mr Teacher Karen succumbed to the flu after Christmas a few years back. It hit him hard—knocking him down for several days. Sadly this was the time I was scheduled to go off for another grandnanny shift(#HaveGrandmaWillTravel) so I left him with a fever, aches and chills to pull through as best he could by himself.
Apparently he felt so poorly, was coughing so violently he decided to go into Urgent Care. Having self-medicated with NyQuil, and being sick sick sick, it wasn’t surprising to find his blood pressure elevated. He was scheduled to go back for a follow-up visit a couple weeks later and saw another doctor. This doctor noted what the level for high blood pressure would be. That number made my husband question him: “Didn’t they change what’s considered high blood pressure?” The doctor said, with assured authoritativeness: “Oh no, it’s been this for a long time.”
Trust, But Verify
When Mr Teacher Karen came home he asked me what reading would be considered high blood pressure. I told him it’d changed to 130/80 mm Hg from 140/90. He asked if I was sure, I said “Yes” but I pulled up an American Heart Association website to check. I was right. Tragically almost half of Americans now suffer from high blood pressure/hypertension.
Mr Teacher Karen then told me what happened at his appointment. I was incredulous. YES, doctors have a lot to keep up on, but THIS is basic. And when questioned, he could have tried to back up his claim…and learned something in the process!
I was contacted by AED USA wanting to add some info. I checked their article and felt the infographic was especially useful.
So, why am I telling you this? Because, doctors are people too and they can make mistakes. ALWAYS feel free to question! It’s incumbent that we take responsibility for our own health AND for our children’s health and wellness.
Internists to Pediatricians…
What does this have to do with 1 year olds being able to say 8 words? I’ll tell you right now—NOTHING! That’s NOT what is expected or what the average 1 year old is going to be doing.
I’m not saying it could never happen, but do NOT stress about it. And definitely do NOT grill your kiddo with new words trying to make it happen if:
1 They’re not ready;
2 There’s no interest
In the long-run it’ll backfire on you.
What IS normal for a 1 year old is speaking up to 3 words. And those words are not necessarily spoken clearly either! That’s a far cry from 8! One year olds WILL be acquiring language quite rapidly however—both in building their vocabularies and in comprehension. Read the Child Development Tracker on Language by PBS for more information.
Parents are their children’s advocates. So arm yourself with accurate, data-backed knowledge. Read up on your growing child; get an idea of what stage is coming up next and come prepared to pediatric appointments. Be sure to ask any questions you have! It could be about the stage your kiddo is in or their behavior or skills. Stay abreast of current news—as the above experience with Mr Teacher Karen indicates, sometimes doctors aren’t up-to-date. Join a parent group for support and/or ask family members.
Kindergarten Is Still Early Childhood
I started this because of my grandbubs’ 1 year well-baby checks, but some parents are facing kindergarten preparedness. Is my child ready to go to public school? Should it be the traditional, but quickly disappearing, ½ day kindergarten or full-day? Read Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten? for factors to consider. I actually was pleasantly surprised by the criteria they listed—if only that was what all the schools expected of their kindergarteners–but it’s not. Too many of them are experiencing push-down academic policies that have them doing work that used to be done by 1st or 2nd grade students.
I remember one of my preschool kidlets going off to kindergarten and being tested on shapes. You’d probably think if a kindergartener knew the standard circle, triangle, square and rectangle that’d be fantastic right? But on this test there was diamond, oval, octagon and…. a trapezoid! When her Mom told me about it, I’m not going to lie, I was a bit outraged. What was it even doing on a test sheet for a kindergartener?
In addition to families preparing to register for kindergarten, families might still be looking for preschools. Read Are You Ready…for Preschool?
Yours in Play!