‘Don’t withhold information on children from doctors’
A Paediatrician and the Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O) of babychildandco, Dr. Seyram Wordui has advised parents not to keep quiet but ask questions when they visit a Paediatrician with their children to seek medical care.
“At the end of the consultation, ask what your child’s diagnosis is. Then you can research on it if you would like to, or so that you could understand your role in helping your child to recover, including follow-ups” she said.
In an interview with The Spectator about what parents should do when they visited hospitals to ensure they got the best of treatment, Dr. Wordui said that asking questions was an opportunity to learn about the child’s body and what to expect from it.
She said it was also important for parents to be truthful with the Paediatrician and give the right information as this was critical in arriving at the right diagnosis”.
She said “withholding information out of fear or because a parent feels when he or she gives details that would seemingly amount to irresponsibility was wrong and could be dangerous.
The Paediatrician said that, for instance, if a parent had started some medications on his or her child’s symptoms before going to the hospital, it was important to tell the doctor and even bring the drugs along with any additional information such as doses.
“Imagine being prescribed the same medication you have at home just because the doctor did not know, or the intervention in a situation of accidental poisoning being delayed because the doctor did not know what the poison was”, she said.
Dr. Wordui stated that parents must make it a priority to be part of the examination of their children by fully concentrating on activities in the consulting room without distractions.
“Watch as the doctor examines your child and ask if he or she has found anything interesting. If your child has a chronic illness you should ask if there are any simple examination techniques you should learn” she advised.
She said for instance if a child had sickle cell disease, there was the need for a parent to learn how to feel for the spleen “so ask your child’s doctor to show you how”.
She said good record keeping of a child’s health information was key to the development of a child and, therefore, parents must always ensure they went to the hospital with the child’s record book especially when the child was younger.
She said the record book has information such as his or her immunisations and growth over time, it may also have information about pregnancy and delivery of the mother which are necessary for the child’s Paediatrician to come to an accurate conclusion of his or her health.
“You could take the opportunity to ask for explanation of anything in it that you do not understand,” she said.
Dr. Wordui said visiting a Paediatrician was one of those things a parent would have to do and should not be “an anxiety-provoking exercise”.
She gave an assurance that the doctors were not there to judge parents but to help in ensuring the good health of their children and so they should always give them the right and relevant information.
From Dzifa Tetteh Tay, Tema.