Visiting the Pediatrician

Visiting the Pediatrician

The information on this page will help you to prepare for your child's visit to the pediatrician. Learn about what will take place and what questions to ask.


The AAP does not directly provide immunizations or clinics, but many of its members do. If you are looking for a pediatrician or clinic, visit AAP Pediatrician Referral Site.



Know the Schedule

Know which vaccines your child is scheduled for. This can be determined by looking at the schedule or by using the CDC personalized scheduler. There is also now a CDC scheduler for children who need to be caught up as well as adults. (Exit Site)



Talk About Concerns

Tell the pediatrician if you have any concerns about your child's health. Using this checklist, your pediatrician can tell you if your child should delay the vaccine for a short time because of a health condition. (Exit Site)


Ask for a VIS

The Vaccine Information Statement discusses the vaccine, its benefits, and any possible side effects. This is the time to ask the pediatrician or nurse any additional questions you have. Many of your questions about vaccines can be answered ahead of time by consulting the CDC Guide to Childhood Immunizations or the Parents' PACK from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. (Exit Site)


Know How to Help

Your child may receive many shots in one visit. She may receive shots in both the arms and the legs. Visit the CDC to learn about where your child's shots may be given and ways to hold your child for the most comfort. (Exit Site)


Understand Costs

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) now requires insurance companies to cover the cost of getting all recommended vaccines, which includes those for teens and pre-teens. If your insurance plan has been unchanged since March 23, 2010, it may be “grandfathered” and may not have to abide by all the new rules under the ACA. If this is the case, your insurance plan may require you to pay co-insurance (a portion of the vaccination cost) or meet your deductible before it will pay for vaccinations.


If your child does not have health insurance, has Medicaid, has insurance but it does not cover vaccines, or is American Indian or Alaskan Native, he/she qualifies to receive vaccines at no cost through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program. Most pediatricians provide VFC vaccines. If your pediatrician is not a VFC provider, your child should be able to receive vaccines at your local health department.


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Anna's Story

Spotlight on HealthAnna Lincoln, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician in Buda, Texas, and a mother of three. Her first-born son, Wiley, became dangerously ill with pneumococcal meningitis when he was a baby.



Last Updated: 1/29/2013

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