Guide to pediatric care in Czechia: What to expect from a doctor who knows

We spoke with My Clinic’s Dr. Magdalena Kreimová about the latest pediatric milestones in Czechia.

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas Published on 04.04.2023 13:41:00 (updated on 04.04.2023) Reading time: 6 minutes

Dr. Magdalena Kreimová is a certified Czech pediatrician with 20+ years of experience in private clinics as well as the children’s ward at Prague’s Bulovka hospital. She is now on the pediatric staff of My Clinic, a medical center in Prague 6 whose pediatric department specializes in comprehensive care from birth to age 19.

Dr. Kreimová gave us an overview of what to expect at the Czech pediatrician office from the infant to teen years and how My Clinic’s “team” approach to children’s healthcare is unique – pediatricians can spend more time with families at their three pediatric medical offices.

“If you have 5-8 minutes you can't do anything, you can't discuss anything. From a medical vantage point, I appreciate having more time with the patient, I can see a lot and I can cooperate with colleagues who can help me.”

Dr. Kreimová explains what to expect when it comes to pediatric care in the Czech Republic and why the My Clinic advantage makes sense for parents seeking continuity of care for their children.

From infant to toddler

In the Czech Republic, pediatric care starts with a newborn screening test, which is performed within the first 48 hours of birth. This test is mandatory and aims to identify any potential health issues early on, allowing for early intervention and treatment. The test checks for various conditions, including congenital hypothyroidism, phenylketonuria, and cystic fibrosis, among others.

After the initial screening, regular checkups are recommended at specific ages to ensure the child's healthy development. The first checkup should be scheduled 1-2 days after being discharged from the hospital, then 14 days, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months, 8 months, 10 months, and 12 months of age. During these checkups, the pediatrician will assess the child's growth, development, and overall health, including checking the child's weight, height, and head circumference.

In the Czech Republic, mandatory vaccines are administered against nine childhood diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, Haemophilus influenza type b infections (2 months), poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, and pneumococcal infections.

I think parents should find a doctor that shows respect for them and their instincts and fears and are willing to provide detailed information about their children's care and conditions and their options for treatment. If you feel rushed or uncertain the first time you visit a pediatrician this is a red flag. We make sufficient time for communicating with the child and parents.

In addition to the mandatory vaccines, there are also optional vaccines available, including vaccines for chickenpox, pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, meningococcus, and HPV.

Dr. Kreimová says that Czechia adheres to the recommendations of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and keeps up with the trends in the scientific world. In 2022, for instance, the pneumococcal vaccine Vaxneuvance, which the EMA greenlighted last autumn became available on the Czech market for children from 6 weeks of age and older.

“In the past, I was very conservative about vaccination. And I still appreciate having time to think about it and discuss it with parents. But it’s important to air on the safe side which means recognizing that even voluntary vaccines can protect against serious diseases like meningitis even though we don't have a high rate of certain diseases. Given the current overburdening of the pediatric system in Czechia, it’s better to be vaccinated and decrease the number of diseases in the population,” says Dr. Kreimová.

Czech Vaccine Schedule
For a complete guide to which vaccines are given in Czechia, see the Czech Vaccinological Society of the Czech Medical Association of J. E. Purkyně (ČLS JEP)'s most up-to-date table.

“At My Clinic, we always put together a vaccination plan ad hoc on the spot based on discussions with the family, the child's health condition, and whether the family travels. The child must not have had a temperature for 14 days and must not have diarrhea.”

My Clinic advantage: My Clinic offers preventive checkups beyond the scope of insurance coverage based on your child's individual needs (a total of 12 in the first year) as well as non-invasive bilirubin treatments for newborns with jaundice – and ultrasound imaging of the hips is done on the premises. Dr. Kreimová and her colleagues work with families to develop an individual vaccine plan. 

From toddler to tween

At the age of two years, the child should have a comprehensive developmental screening test to assess their cognitive, motor, and social-emotional development. From 12 months of age, the child should have a dental examination, and from the age of five, vision and hearing screenings should be conducted regularly.

“We use the Plusoptix Vision Screening which can detect disorders in children as early as possible such as recognizing astigmatism, for instance,” says Dr, Kreimová. During the well-child check the pediatrician will also screen for hearing problems (at My Clinic otoacoustic testing is used) in a specially equipped room with an ear, nose, and throat specialist, something that is unique to their practice – also an example of the team-based approach to children’s healthcare.

A preventative approach is important, particularly with regard to screen time. “The years 10-13 are the riskiest for screen time, these kids are the most vulnerable age for it. Data shows that for girls social media and boys gaming,” says Dr. Kreimová. For this reason, My Clinic has a strong physiotherapist team as well as a strong network of mental health professionals who can help with problems that arise from too much screen time.

My Clinic advantage: If a child needs a specialist My Clinic has one on staff or works with a network of trusted specialists, which allows the pediatrician to observe and diagnose a problem with better efficiency. Quick diagnostics are available at the doctor's office, for example, a strep test or CRP test for bacterial infection and a new rapid test for Covid-19, Flue, RSV, and Adenovirus.

The teenage years

Teenage health is influenced by a wide range of factors and access to healthcare services is vital during what Dr. Kreimová calls “the riskiest years.” In the Czech Republic, some of the biggest challenges to teenage health include sexual health issues, unhealthy diets, and sedentary lifestyles. They are at high risk for accidents, injuries, and violence.

Most importantly, however, good mental health specialists for children are hard to find in the Czech Republic. “We are living in a strange time when children increasingly need mental-health support and we are seeing a rise in depression and self-harm.

She believes that My Clinic is unique in this respect for its access to mental health services for children.

“Mental health specialists for children are a strong point of our facility. When I see kids who have problems that go beyond general care I can easily call my colleagues who are in the same place.”

My Clinic advantage: Dr. Kreimová and her colleagues offer comprehensive care up until the age of 19. They provide services of an allergist and immunologist, a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist, a pulmonologist, a dermatologist as well as pediatric gynecologists if required. In addition, specialists provide young women with advice regarding contraception suitable for adolescents as well as access to psychiatry and psychology professionals.

This article was written in association with MY CLINIC. A private clinic of outpatient medical care it currently offers care in the fields of Internal Medicine/GP, Endocrinology and Diabetology, Allergology and immunology for Adults and for Children, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), Dermatology, Sonography, Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy for Adults and for Children, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, Ophthalmology, Neurology, Cardiology, Urology, Vascular and General Surgery, Psychiatry, Psychiatry for Children and Adolescents, Psychology, Paediatrics, Occupational Therapy for Children, Children Pulmonology, Gynaecology for Children. More about our partner content policies here.

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