NORFOLK - A big part of making sure your child stays healthy is choosing the right doctor.

Parents and pediatricians work together for a child's well-being.

CHKD Pediatrician Dr. Carol Steiner says choosing the right doctor starts before your child is born.

Tip 1: Select a Pediatrician before Birth
-Expectant parents should select a pediatrician before their child is born; all newborns must be examined at the hospital soon after delivery.
-Newcomers to the area should also make finding a pediatrician a top priority.
-Many medical practices offer get-acquainted visits. Make an appointment to meet the doctor before your baby is born so that you can be sure to select a doctor who makes you feel comfortable.

Tip 2: Ask if the Pediatrician is Board-Certified
-A board-certified physician has completed training in an accredited pediatric residency program and has passed national board exams in pediatrics. Some physicians are board-eligible, meaning that they have recently completed their residencies and have not yet taken their board exams.
-If you have a preference for where you'd like your child's surgery, lab work and other diagnostic tests to be done, or for hospital admission if it becomes necessary, make sure your doctor is a member of the medical staff at that hospital.
-If your child has a special problem, such as asthma, diabetes, ADHD or obesity, you'll want to look for a doctor who specializes in these problems.

Tip 3: Don't Overlook Practicalities
-It can be a real timesaver to find a doctor whose office is located near your home or work. Don't forget to check to see if the practice's office hours are compatible with your schedule.
-Make sure the doctor accepts your health insurance.
- Ask if there is a nurse available to answer routine medical questions during the day and after hours.

For more information on selecting a pediatrician, and reviewing CHKD pediatricians, pediatric medical and surgical specialists, go to the CHKD Website or call CHKD's Health Line at 668-7500. Dr. Steiner says CHKD's Medical Group has 15 pediatric practices with 26 locations from Williamsburg to Elizabeth City, N.C. All of the doctors have privileges at CHKD and work closely with the institution.

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