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Information for Parents

Pediatrics

Most parents have a lot of questions about their child's health. That's OK. We understand.

Here are some common questions and answers about the care of your child at CHA.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • I’m about to have my first baby and need a pediatrician. Can you help?

    Congratulations! All of our pediatric sites are accepting new patients and we look forward to meeting your new loved one. If you want to meet us before your delivery, please call any of our care centers to schedule a free meet and greet. You can also call our Doctor Finder Service at 617-665-1305 once your baby is born and schedule your first visit.

  • My child is sick. What should I do?

    If your child is having a medical emergency, please dial 911. If your child is sick, call your provider's office directly. You can get an appointment right away. Our on-call pediatrician also sees patients at either Cambridge Hospital or Somerville Campus on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. If you don't know if your child needs to be seen, please call. Your call will be answered during non-business hours.

  • My friend speaks no English, but would like to make an appointment for her son. What should she do?

    If the child is a new patient, please call our Doctor Finder Service at 617-665-1305. Our staff speaks many languages and is happy to help. For a current patient, call the clinic directly. Our interpreter team can help over the phone. Please let them know if you need an interpreter during the appointment.

  • My daughter is not learning like other children her age. Who can I talk to?

    If your child is under 3 and you have concerns about his/her development, tell your provider or call the local Early Intervention program: Cambridge and Somerville 617-629-3919, Other areas: 800-905-8437. Or, talk to a member of your child's CHA care team so we can help connect you to other resources.

  • I need to know about paying for health care. What are my options?

    We are committed to giving your child great health care regardless of your ability to pay. We accept most major insurance plans and HMOs and have Financial Assistance staff who can help you apply for health coverage. Learn more about our Financial Assistance services here, or call 617-665-1100.

Immunizations

  • When should I vaccinate my infant, toddler and young child?

    Immunizations are the best way of preventing many serious childhood illnesses. During the first two years of life, we will administer vaccines at most (but not all) routine well-child office visits.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends well-child visits at the following ages:

    Newborn Also a feeding and weight check around 1-2 weeks.  
    1 month 6 months 15 months
    2 months 9 months 18 months
    4 months 12 months 2 years

    From age 3 years and on, your child should visit us once a year for a regular check-up. Most appointments can be scheduled within 24-48 hours. However, our busiest times are right before school, camp, and sport teams start, so it may be best to try to book in advance.

  • When should my preteen and teenager receive vaccinations?

    CHA's pediatric practices follow immunization schedules set by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with input from the American Academy of Pediatrics. These guidelines are mirrored by the Massachusetts Immunization Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which also sets school vaccination requirements.

    For current immunization schedules and other information about vaccine safety, please visit the CDC's immunization program website.

    Another reliable source for scientifically accurate and well-regarded information about vaccine safety is the Immunization Action Coalition.

Resources and Tools

As a parent, you have access to a lot of information - maybe too much at times. Here are some trusted resources to help you keep your child healthy and information about common health conditions like ADHD and asthma. If you have specific questions about your child, you should always contact your care team directly. 

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