Choosing Care for Your Child

The decision whether to choose a pediatrician or family medicine provider as your child's primary care provider (PCP), is yours alone. Some families prefer to have one family medicine team that can treat the family as a whole, with access to everyone's medical history. Others prefer to have their child treated by a provider who specializes in childhood illnesses and development until they reach young adulthood.

Our approach: families as partners

Your family is a critical member of the health care team, and we value your partnership in the care of your children. You know your children best, and we respect your role as your child's advocate and as the ultimate decision-maker. Our goal is to provide you with all the information and education you need to understand your options, so you can make informed decisions about your family’s health care.

At Cheshire Medical Center, both Family Medicine and Pediatric providers fall under our Primary Care Department. Each operates with a similar philosophy and offers you and your child the same great programs and resources.

Always connected to your child’s care

Seamless connections with our Walk-in Care Clinic, specialty services, and the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock help the whole health care team stay on the same page. Through the myD-H patient portal and the MyChart app, you can stay on top of your child’s records, prescriptions, and upcoming immunizations. You can also connect with all of their providers within the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH) system, schedule appointments, view test results, and more. 

Picking a pediatric primary care provider for your child

Newborns

Once your baby has been born, call Pediatrics or Panel Management (see the Contact us button in the upper-right of this page) to set up your first appointment. If you give birth here at Cheshire, our staff helps you with this simple process during your stay. If you did not give birth at Cheshire, please bring your baby’s medical record to share with the pediatrician. 

All other children and teens

Visit our Choosing a New Provider page for more information.

Well-child visits

To make sure your child is getting the care they need to thrive, regular well-child visits coincide with their immunization schedule. Starting with a weight check at five days old, we schedule visits at 2 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, 15 months, 18 months, 2 years, 30 months, and then yearly.

These important visits include a physical exam to help your team assess your child's growth, nutrition, and development. Make a habit of jotting down questions about your child's health or behavior at home to discuss with your child’s provider at these visits.

Reach Out and Read program

From 6 months to 5 years old, your child receives a free book appropriate to their developmental level at each well-child visit. Their provider explains ways to read with your child to support their language and literacy development. This can also help you understand your child's current stage of development. The supportive relationship between parents and health care professionals helps children learn to love books. It can also help you to foster a love of books in the home.

This pediatric literacy program is part of the National Reach Out and Read Program.

Man reading with child

Picture Books Connect Kids, Families, and Pediatrics Providers

Reading books during pediatric visits can help doctors measure development and makes the children happy.

Read more

Psychiatric consultations

If you are worried about your child or teen’s behavior or mental health, please talk with their provider. We have a child and adolescent psychiatrist and supporting behavioral health team on staff to provide consultations at their pediatrician or primary care provider’s request. Our psychiatrist can make diagnoses and works with your PCP’s team to create the best treatment plan for your child.

Teens, young adults, and confidentiality

We encourage our adolescent and young adult patients to speak with us directly. Young adult patients should feel free to discuss any concerns with us that they may have about their health and their own bodies. We encourage discussion about health issues between patients and their parents; however, it is our policy to keep confidential any issues that our patients request us to. The sole exception to this confidentiality is issues that might threaten the patient’s life.

Partnership with CHaD

As Cheshire Medical Center is part of the D-HH system, our providers are connected with specialists at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD). Whether your child attends a neurology telemedicine appointment in our offices, an outpatient virtual visit from the comfort of your home, or travels to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for treatment, the whole medical home team will be kept informed.