Pediatrician’s Office Etiquette: Tips for Parents

Anyone with kids has been to the pediatrician’s office at least once (a month, it seems). Having been there, you know what to expect. If you have an appointment, you probably wait a while. If you call in with a sick kid and ask to be fit in to see the pediatrician, you have to wait a while. There are sick kids, healthy kids looking for a check-up or physical, overworked nurses and a doctor who seems to be the only person in the building seeing every single patient. While that’s to be expected in most offices, there are some things that parents can do to help. It’s call pediatrician’s office etiquette – and not many people seem to have it.

Keep Your Sick Kids Away

One of the most annoying and irritating things that occurs in the pediatrician’s office is the fact that so many parents let their sick kids run around. When my youngest was 2 weeks old and we were in the office for a check-up, a sick child came up to her and just stuck her hand into my daughter’s car seat and grabbed her pacifier out of her mouth. Want to know what her mom did? Nothing. She smiled and said, “She loves babies! What are you here for? She’s here because she’s been throwing up and running a high fever since yesterday.” Um…ma’am, see that sign that says “Healthy children waiting room?” Obviously it’s not for you.

Keep the pediatrician’s office a healthy place by making sure your kids aren’t touching other kids and that your sick children aren’t waiting in the healthy child room or vice versa. We’re all here to keep our kids healthy and we should respect that.


Another mother once told me she was shocked when she was still in the waiting room almost an hour after her appointment time to see the doctor – her pre-scheduled well visit appointment time – and another mom who already told her she called last minute for a sick visit started screaming at the nurses because they hadn’t called her back yet. Parents: It’s frustrating to wait so long. We all know it. But if you are a “Fit-In” for a sick kid, don’t get upset when you’re still waiting behind the people who had appointments. It’s life.

Complaining doesn’t get you anywhere. Stop making a fuss and irritating the office staff and try to be patient. The more you yell, the less they can get done and the longer everyone has to wait.


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