Ask About Alternative Treatments
If the pediatrician does prescribe a medication, ask why it was prescribed and what the side effects are. It's always smart to research the medication on your own, too. If you decide you are uncomfortable giving your child the prescribed drug, ask whether there are any alternative treatments.
Sometimes, doctors feel pressured to prescribe certain drugs simply to appease worried parents, when they may prefer simply using the "wait and see" method. For example, antibiotics are often prescribed for infections that will get better on their own. There has been a decrease in doctors prescribing antibiotics to children since the mid-1990s [source: Reinberg]. Experts chalk this up to increasing awareness about the downside to antibiotics -- the possibility of developing a resistance, meaning future infections may become more severe.
There are alternatives to many types of medications, so always ask the doctor about your other options.