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Only about half of fathers are in attendance when their children visit the pediatrician, reports a recent study at Boston Medical Center. Yet experts say that moms and dads alike need to hear medical information directly from doctors rather than getting a secondhand report from their spouse.
"This helps ensure that concerns get addressed promptly," says Trevena Moore, MD, the study's lead researcher, "and that each parent is up to date on their child's medical history and vital data -- crucial in an emergency." Equally persuasive, says Dr. Moore: Early parental involvement is associated with better cognitive ability and fewer behavioral problems.
If your husband can't make it to your child's next checkup, bring him into the conversation via telephone. "In a cellular age," says Dr. Moore, "there's no reason a dad should miss the opportunity to be involved."
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal magazine, June 2004.