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For Parents

Have Questions?
Most parents have a lot of questions about their child's health. This is understandable, and we want to help. Here are some common questions and answers about the care of your child at CHA.

Frequently Asked Questions Immunizations Online Resources and Downloadable Tools/Questionnaires

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: My child is sick. What should I do?

A: 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 the Cambridge Campus or Somerville Campus on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. If you don't know if your child needs to be seen right away, please call. Your call will be answered by a nurse during non-business hours.

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

A: 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 services team can help over the phone. Please let them know if you need interpreter services during the appointment.

Q: My daughter is not learning like other children her age. Who can I talk to about my concerns?

A: 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.

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

A: We are committed to providing your child with 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. Click here to learn more about our Financial Assistance services, or call 617-665-1100.

Immunizations

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 We also do a feeding and weight check around 1-2 weeks of age.  
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.

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

The CHA Pediatrics Department has information to help you keep your child healthy. Click on the links below for information on how manage your child's health, or learn more about common health conditions like ADHD and asthma.

DOWNLOADABLE TOOLS FOR PARENTS

GENERAL TOOLS

Health History Form

English     Haitian Creole     Portuguese     Spanish

Parent/Patient Information Sheets
Information about vaccines, screenings, development, tips, resources and more:

English:

Newborns 9 Month-Olds 3 Year-Olds 14-15 Year-Olds
1 Month-Olds 12 Month-Olds 4-5 Year-Olds 16-17 Year-Olds
2 Month-Olds 15 Month-Olds 6-8 Year-Olds 18-21 Year-Olds
4 Month-Olds 18 Month-Olds 9-11 Year-Olds  
6 Month-Olds 2 Year-Olds 12-13 Year-Olds  

Haitian Creole:

Newborns 9 Month-Olds 3 Year-Olds 14-15 Year-Olds
1 Month-Olds 12 Month-Olds 4-5 Year-Olds 16-17 Year-Olds
2 Month-Olds 15 Month-Olds 6-8 Year-Olds 18-21 Year-Olds
4 Month-Olds 18 Month-Olds 9-11 Year-Olds  
6 Month-Olds 2 Year-Olds 12-13 Year-Olds  

Portuguese:

Newborns 9 Month-Olds 3 Year-Olds 14-15 Year-Olds
1 Month-Olds 12 Month-Olds 4-5 Year-Olds 16-17 Year-Olds
2 Month-Olds 15 Month-Olds 6-8 Year-Olds 18-21 Year-Olds
4 Month-Olds 18 Month-Olds 9-11 Year-Olds  
6 Month-Olds 2 Year-Olds 12-13 Year-Olds  

Spanish:

Newborns 9 Month-Olds 3 Year-Olds 14-15 Year-Olds
1 Month-Olds 12 Month-Olds 4-5 Year-Olds 16-17 Year-Olds
2 Month-Olds 15 Month-Olds 6-8 Year-Olds 18-21 Year-Olds
4 Month-Olds 18 Month-Olds 9-11 Year-Olds  
6 Month-Olds 2 Year-Olds 12-13 Year-Olds  

SPECIFIC TOOLS

Asthma

Childhood Asthma Control Test (for children 4-11)
English     Haitian Creole     Portuguese     Spanish

Asthma Control Test (for children 12 years and older)
English     Haitian Creole     Portuguese     Spanish

ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
Initial assessment forms and follow-up assessment forms.

NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scale – Parent Informant
English     Haitian Creole     Portuguese     Spanish

NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment ScaleTeacher Informant

NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Follow-Up – Parent Informant
English     Haitian Creole     Portuguese     Spanish

NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Follow-UpTeacher Informant

Child Mental Health and Development

Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC)
A brief screening tool to identify and treat psychosocial problems in children.

English     Haitian Creole     Portuguese     Spanish

PHQ-9 Patient Health Questionnaire
A tool to help diagnose depression and select/monitor treatment.   

English     Haitian Creole     Portuguese     Spanish

Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) Response Form
To obtain information about your child's development and health.

English     Haitian Creole     Portuguese     Spanish

Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers
To screen children 16 - 30 months old.

English     Haitian Creole     Portuguese     Spanish

ONLINE RESOURCES FOR PARENTS

Asthma & Allergies

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America - New England Chapter
All sorts of information on support groups, resources, and health information for people with allergies and asthma.

Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)

The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Site
A database on toxicity and ingredients of common consumer products and cosmetics.

ADHD

Children and Adults with Attention Defecit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)

Autism

The Autism Society

MA Autism Consortium

Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services - Autism


National Autism Center

 


Breastfeeding

La Leche League International
Breastfeeding support and resources.

Zipmilk
An online directory of lactation consultants, breastfeeding support groups, and breastfeeding counselors maintained by the Massachusetts Breasfeeding Coalition.
Searchable by zip code or by state listing.


General Health for Children and Adolescents

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

Nemours KidsHealth
One of the premier sites for information on child health and development, both for parents and children themselves.

Healthy Children
The AAP’s site for parent-oriented child health and development information.

Young Men’s Health Site
Information for the older adolescent and young adult male from Children’s Hospital of Boston.

Center for Young Women’s Health Site
Information for the older adolescent and young adult female from Children’s Hospital of Boston.

General Resources

Family Support Resource Listing
A general listing of various governmental and non-governmental programs and services that support all families, including families of children with special needs.

Cambridge-Somerville Resource Guide
A listing of a variety of public and private programs and services.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Travelers' Health

American Academy of Pediatrics - publications store 

A great source of parenting and other child health information.

PubMed
The National Library of Medicine’s website for health information and medical literature.

Suggested Books and Reference List

Media

Common Sense Media

Great Websites For Kids

International Reading Association - Choice Reading Lists

Kids in Mind – movie ratings

Project READ / Cambridge Health Alliance Foundation fundraising site
Please help support our ability to provide books to children at their annual check-ups!

Mental Health and Development

Cambridge Health Alliance - Child Psychiatry


Harvard Center on the Developing Child

Videos on child neurodevelopment and other topics:

MGH School Psychiatry Program

Parent / Professional Advocacy League (PPAL)
Advocacy, information, and support services for children’s mental health.

Parenting Websites

American Academy of Pediatrics

The Guidance Center

Lisa Dobberteen, MD

Nemours KidsHealth

The Parenting Journey

Program Directories & Locations (local)

Early Intervention directory
Early Intervention Programs provide evaluation and treatment services for children under 3 years of age with developmental delays or risk of delays.

Head Start directory
Subsidized preschool programs for low-income children; also Early Head Start for infants/toddlers.

WIC offices

Nutritional support program for low-income pregnant/lactating women, infants, and children under age 5 years.

Safety and Accident Prevention

The Car Seat Lady 
All you need to know about car seats!

SADD "Contract for Life" 
A substance abuse prevention contract for teens and parents/guardians from Students Against Destructive Decisions (formerly Students Against Drunk Driving).

Schools

Cambridge
Everett
Malden
Revere
Somerville

The following links will take you to the Federation for Children with Special Needs' on-line guide for parents seeking special educational evaluations for their children:

Parents Guide for Special Education
Guía para los Padres de Familia sobre los Servicios de Educación Especial
Guia dos Pais Sobre Educação Especial

Special Health Care Needs

Family TIES of Massachusetts
Networking and resources for families of children with disabilities.

Federation for Children with Special Needs

  • Massachusetts Family VOICES
    Advocacy group for families of children with disabilities.
  • See section "Schools" above for information on Special Education from FCSN.

Massachusetts Dept. of Disability Services (MDDS) 
State resources for children with disabilities.

Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services:

Massachusetts Guardianship Association
A non-profit organization that provides assistance for parents in obtaining legal guardianship of adult disabled children.

Toward Independent Living and Learning, Inc. (TILL)
Respite care and other services.

Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP)
Provides free civil legal assistance to low-income residents of Greater Boston.

Sports Injury

Cambridge Health Alliance - Concussion Services at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School
CHA’s comprehensive concussion treatment program is open to all students, not just those attending CRLS.


Vaccines and Immunization

Sources of unbiased information on vaccine safety and related topics:
Immunization Action Coalition

Vaccinate Your Baby

Vaccine Information