From babies to teenagers, children need extra help and care as they grow into healthy adults. Between regular exams, immunizations, school physicals, and more, it can be difficult for families to keep track of everything their child needs. But our team is here to stay on top of these things and more. Premier’s team of pediatricians is experienced and knowledgeable in the delivery of pediatric primary care. Our team is also highly collaborative, sharing their collective knowledge and experiences. This teamwork provides a higher standard of care for all of the infants, children, and adolescents we see. Trust us for support and guidance in the health and development of your child - and contact us to schedule your family’s next visit.

Premier Medical Associates, an affiliate of the Allegheny Health Network, is the largest multi-specialty physician practice in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Our team offers weekday, evening and Saturday hours for pediatric visits at our Penn Hills and Irwin locations.

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FAQs on Pediatric Care:

What Is A Pediatrician - How Are They Different From A Primary Care Doctor?

Pediatricians are doctors who have focused on a branch of medicine that involves the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents (also referred to as pediatric care). Pediatricians can help to manage the physical, behavior, and mental health of children.

Primary care physicians, or PCPs, practice general medicine and are the first line of defense against many common ailments. While they can help with some basic ailments, they do not have the pediatric background of study that pediatricians do.

When Do I Need To Call My Pediatrician?

It's perfectly acceptable to call a pediatrician even for minor and routine matters, including medicines, minor illnesses, injuries, behavior, or even parenting advice. Because children can grow sick and unhealthy quite quickly, we would rather be safe than sorry.

We also encourage you to call and to confirm the best next steps for your family if your child experiences any of the following:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea that lasts for more than a few hours
  • Rash, particularly if it’s accompanied by a fever 
  • Any cough or cold that does not get better in several days
  • Ear pain or ear drainage, particularly if it’s accompanied by fever
  • The inability to sleep or drink, particularly if this is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea
  • Severe sore throat or problems swallowing
  • Fever and repeated vomiting at the same time
  • Blood in the urine 
  • Bloody diarrhea or diarrhea that will not go away
  • Sharp or persistent pains in the abdomen or stomach
  • Pain that gets worse or does not go away after several hours
  • A rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher in a baby younger than 2 months

Families should call 911 for any severely ill or injured child, as well as if their child is experiencing bleeding that will not stop; if a deep cut or burn develops; if accidental poisoning is suspected; if a child has trouble breathing or seizures; if they experience a head injury; and/or if they become unconscious.

When Should I Take A Sick Child To The Doctor?

Knowing when to take a sick child to their doctor isn’t always black and white. This is part of why we invite families to call us with questions related to the symptoms above, so that our team can advise parents on their best next steps. In addition to the above questions, you will definitely want to seek medical care for the following symptoms:

  • High or persistent fever
  • Fast, labored, or noisy breathing from the chest
  • Persistent pain that does not improve (ex. earache, sore throat, severe headache, stomach ache)
  • Thick eye discharge that doesn’t get better during the day

In addition to these types of treatment scenarios, parents of children aged 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine should visit their pediatrician for a flu shot before flu season begins each year.

Will My Child Need To Visit A Pediatric Doctor Even If They’re Healthy?

Regular pediatric visits are just as important as regular PCP and eye doctor visits, even when we feel fine. That’s because these visits are primarily about prevention. They allow doctors to track immunization needs, make recommendations about nutrition and safety, talk about a family's concerns in a timely manner, and so forth.

Visits with a pediatric doctor have many names, including well-child visits, child wellness visits, or a child wellness exam. No matter what they’re called, visits and are focused on whether or not a child is hitting their developmental milestones. These visits include a physical exam (where height, weight, and other measurements are taken), pediatric hearing and vision tests, and other screening tests as needed. A pediatric doctor may also talk about wellness issues such as family and school relationships during these visits.

Is There A Recommended Child Wellness Visit Schedule?

Yes. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has developed a set of comprehensive health guidelines for well-child care. The following is their current recommended schedule:

  • The first week visit (3 to 5 days old)
  • 1 month old
  • 2 months old
  • 4 months old
  • 6 months old
  • 9 months old
  • 12 months old
  • 15 months old
  • 18 months old
  • 2 years old (24 months)
  • 2 ½ years old (30 months)
  • 3 years old
  • 4 years old
  • 5 years old
  • 6 years old
  • 7 years old
  • 8 years old
  • 9 years old
  • 10 years old
  • 11 years old
  • 12 years old
  • 13 years old
  • 14 years old
  • 15 years old
  • 16 years old
  • 17 years old
  • 18 years old
  • 19 years old
  • 20 years old
  • 21 years old

What Should I Expect From A Visit With Your Team?

Premier Medical Associates, an affiliate of the Allegheny Health Network, is the largest multi-specialty physician practice in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Our pediatricians are widely experienced and knowledgeable in the delivery of pediatric primary care. They are also collaborative, sharing their collective knowledge and experiences within our care network as needed. This teamwork provides a higher standard of care for all of the infants, children, and adolescents we work with - and will ensure your family stays as healthy as possible from day to day.

Premier offers weekday, evening and Saturday hours at our Penn Hills and Irwin locations.