Your Child's Visit to the Center for Celiac Disease

Before your child's visit

Before you even leave home, we offer resources to introduce you to CHOP and to help you prepare for your visit. 

How to prepare your child

Healthcare experiences can be very stressful for children of all ages. Preparing children ahead of time for the things they may experience during their healthcare visit will reduce much of their anxiety, as well as help them cope.

Providing your child with honest, accurate information will help to alleviate many of his/her fears and misconceptions about what will happen. We offer some tips to help you and your child prepare

What to expect

Before your appointment, you may be contacted by mail or phone to obtain basic information designed to shorten your waiting time during your visit. If you receive a preregistration form by mail, please complete and return it as soon as possible, using the envelope provided.

Insurance and referrals

Please arrive with insurance cards and any referral forms required by your insurance company. If your insurance provider requires you to present an authorizing letter, please bring this with you as well. If you are unsure of exactly what will be required, please call your insurance company before your appointment. Get more information about billing and insurance.

The day of your child's visit

Being prepared for your first visit at the Center for Celiac Disease at CHOP will ensure a smooth check-in and prevent unnecessary delays. 

What to bring  

Please make sure you bring the following to your first appointment:

  • A completed copy of our new patient visit form.
  • Referral paperwork. This must be in place at the time of the visit or your visit may be delayed or rescheduled.
  • Any authorization your insurance company may require. You should call your insurance company to get this information.
  • Co-pay or co-insurance for the visit. If you have any questions, please call 1-800-664-7855.
  • The name and phone number of your pharmacy.
  • Copies of documentation for labs, radiology and procedure tests — even if the results are normal.
  • A copy of your child’s recent growth chart (if available).
  • A parent or legal guardian must be present for the first consultation. If you are a legal guardian, please bring proof of guardianship. We also ask that all other caregivers and family members who may be preparing meals for the child come to the first clinic education visit.
  • Due to the long duration of the first clinic visit, we recommend packing snacks and toys/books for your child.
  • Please bring all of the medications your child currently takes — including over-the-counter medications – in a bag. If you’d prefer to write a list of medications, we will need the medicine name, dosage, frequency, prescribing doctor, pharmacy name and phone number, as well as how long your child has been using this medication. Most families find it easier to toss everything in a bag and bring it along!

If you need to cancel your appointment, please give us 72 hours notice. Another family will be grateful for your time.

Getting here and directions

The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition offers outpatient appointments at nine locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including our division's outpatient area on the sixth floor of the Buerger Center at CHOP's Main Campus. Find directions and maps to help you find your way to CHOP.

When you arrive

When you arrive for your first visit, you will register your child with the front desk. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment so Hospital staff can review all of your paperwork and ask any additional questions.

If you arrive late, you risk being seen later or having your appointment rescheduled. Please call us if you are running late. If you need to cancel your appointment, please give us 72 hours notice. Another family will be grateful for your time.

We encourage you to bring toys, books and/or snacks to keep your child or children occupied and content while waiting. Fasting is not required for the patient’s first visit.

Who you’ll meet

All of the healthcare professionals and employees at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia are dedicated to providing the best care to your child and your family, and to making your experience with us as comfortable as possible. Get to know the Celiac Center team.

Your child's visit

When your child’s name is called, you and your child will be escorted to an examination room. In this private area, we will take your child’s vital signs such as temperature, blood pressure, weight and height. We will also review your child's medications and allergies. Please remember to bring any prescriptions or over-the-counter medications your child is taking.

Your first visit may last approximately two-three hours and will include:

  • A one-hour education class with a Celiac Center nurse and dietitian
  • A complete nutritional assessment
  • A review of your child's medical history
  • A physical exam
  • A discussion of what brings you to the visit and next steps 

You will have the opportunity during this initial patient visit to discuss your child’s symptoms and ask questions. Please jot down any questions or comments you’d like to share. This can ensure you get as much information as you need now. There will be additional opportunities at future visits to ask follow up questions.

At the end of your child's visit, you will receive a visit summary form that details next steps and instructions for your child's care. A copy of a summary report will be sent to the physician who referred your child so we can ensure your child's care plan is well coordinated and communicated.

After your child's first visit

Many initial visits result in additional testing to establish or confirm your child's diagnosis. For this reason, we ask parents to bring your calendar with you so we can schedule further testing if needed.

Scheduling diagnostic and testing services

For your convenience, Children's Hospital provides a full range of services, such as X-ray, blood work and other testing services. Please check with your insurance plan to make sure that you are permitted to have testing performed here. In some cases, a referral form from your insurance company and/or a consultation with a Children's Hospital physician may be necessary.