Care Visit Check List for
all Children Including
Children with Special Health Care Needs
Your child’s health care provider expects to work with
you as a partner to keep your child safe and healthy. You’ll want to work
together to develop trust and easy communication. This takes time and doesn’t
usually happen in just one visit. Share information -
each of you has knowledge the other needs to provide the best care
for your child.
Choosing a Health Care Provider
If you have a choice, look for a provider whose style and office
procedures fit your needs. Talk with family and friends about providers they
- Do you think his/her style fits your needs and those of your child?
- Can you talk easily with this provider? Is your language and culture understood and respected?
- Will this provider offer a “Medical Home?” *
- Is the office location convenient?
- Are there hours or times you can call with questions?
- Who is available when the provider is away?
- Will your health insurance cover this provider?
- If you don't have health care coverage:
- call toll-free 1-877-KIDS-NOW for information on free or low cost children's health insurance
- check with your health department, local hospital, or state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
* A Medical Home
is not a building, house, or hospital, but is an approach to providing high-quality healthcare in a
cost-effective way that is accessible, family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate, and
culturally effective. See http://www.medicalhomeinfo.org
Preparing for a Health Visit
- Think through the purpose of the visit (e.g. regular health check-up, immunizations, illness, etc.) and bring along any records you’ll need. Use the
Bright Futures Family Pocket Guide or the Bright Futures Encounter Forms for Families to help you prepare. **
- Think about your child's progress and what has changed since the last visit
- Make a list of questions or concerns you want to discuss.
- Put worries into words. A good health care provider will try to help you think through issues and find answers or referrals.
- Bring a notepad to jot down things you want to remember.
- Are there concerns or updates from others who see your child-child care center, school, sports, therapy program, hospital?
- Prepare your child for the visit. Encourage your child to ask questions and discuss concerns. Bring
a toy, art project, favorite book or homework to pass the time or to show the provider.
During the Visit
- Talk about what matters to you. Your way of seeing your child helps the health
care provider understand more about your child's development and your priorities.
- Expect your child’s health care provider to ask questions such as: “How does our baby respond
to new people?”, ”How many hours does Juan sleep at night?”, “How is school
going for Tina?”, “How does Philip handle stress?”, “How are things going with
Julia’s therapy program?”, “Kim, are you driving yet?”
- Ask questions about any things important to your child- getting along with
others, playing sports, after school jobs, etc.
- Mention significant or interesting events that have occurred recently to share
the unique nature of your child and family:
- Changes related to your child’s health since the last visit, for example: an emergency room
visit; changes in sleep, eating or behavior patterns; alteration in seizure activity.
- Family events that have happened since the last visit- a move, a new baby, death, divorce.
- Offer feedback about recommendations made to you about your child’s health.
- Your opinions should be respected.
- Sharing information will strengthen the partnership, even if you don’t always agree.
- Ask what's likely to happen next in your child's growth and progress and what
you can do to support healthy development.
- Share ideas, observations, and good resources with your health care provider. In turn,
ask for recommendations. Are there handouts, books or videos you can have or borrow?
- Give your health care providers constructive feedback on how they’re doing caring for
your child and providing information and support to you. Offer examples of suggestions that have been helpful.
After the visit is over, ask yourself