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At the pediatrician

Published:
January 16, 2020
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Category:
Life in Germany

Medical U-examinations of children are mandatory.

What are the U examinations for children? Do they have to be noticed?

In Germany, the medical care of children is a top priority. Parents are legally obliged to perform the so-called "U-examinations" with their children. These document the child's developmental steps and also serve to identify possible developmental delays in good time. The examinations are numbered. U1 to U9 are covered by public and private health insurance. U1 and U2 for newborns are usually still carried out in the maternity clinic.  From U3 onwards, you will usually go to the paediatrician with your baby for the first time - he or she will accompany your family for many years and therefore it is worthwhile to ask your friends for a good paediatrician. All subsequent "U examinations" are carried out at regular intervals in the paediatric practice, based on the age of the children.

U10 and U11 at the age of 7 to 8 years and 9 to 10 years respectively are no longer compulsory benefits of the statutory health insurance companies, but are covered by many health insurers. Therefore, please ask your health insurance company in advance.  

In some federal states "U-examinations" are mandatory.  This serves to uncover illnesses or possible cases of child abuse or neglect as early as possible. There is a medical obligation to report failure to attend preventive medical check-ups and a corresponding written reminder from parents if a U has been missed. If this is not complied with within four weeks, the Youth Welfare Office or the Health Office will be informed.

The results of a U examination are recorded in an examination booklet, which every child receives after birth. In the U1 to U9 examinations, the child is weighed, measured and listened to. Its organs are examined by palpation. Hearing and sight are also always examined. The paediatrician determines the child's stage of development, checks the vaccination status and asks about possible difficulties. In this way, it is well documented how your child is developing until he or she starts school at the age of six. The paediatrician can detect early on if problems arise in any area and then initiate appropriate diagnosis and therapy, for example by referring the child to another specialist - for example, if a U examination has shown that the child does not hear or see optimally.

The paediatrician is also responsible for vaccinations. For this purpose, they receive the vaccination certificate, a yellow booklet in which all of their child's vaccinations are recorded so that other doctors can also keep track of the vaccination status.

Some paediatricians offer an "open consultation": here anyone can come by without prior appointment and be examined. It may be that you have to wait longer than if you had made an appointment. For this reason, you should only visit the open consultation hours in the case of acute illnesses and otherwise call in advance and ask when you can come by

The following page offers an orientation about pediatricians in your area:

www.kinderaerzte-im-netz.de/aerzte/suche.html

If an emergency occurs at the weekend or after the opening hours of the paediatric practice, it is best to contact a paediatric hospital specialising in children.

In the surrounding area, the Clementinen Kinderkrankenhaus

www.clementine-kinderhospital.de/

is particularly worth mentioning, as is the emergency unit at the Höchst clinic.    Here, the emphasis is on emergencies! Waiting times can sometimes be considerable.

www.klinikumfrankfurt.de/fuer-patienten-und-besucher/notfall/kindernotfallambulanz.html

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