Although the COVID-19 crisis has largely interrupted normal life, it is still very important to follow through with children’s general pediatric medical needs. Parents can still schedule appointments for vaccines and immunizations via Neighborhood Healthcare’s clinics. We are dedicated to providing families with the information they need to make the best healthcare for their families and so we have put together some tips and guidelines surrounding Pediatric care during the pandemic.
The Importance of Well-Visits for Kids
Parents might be concerned about keeping standing well-visits for their kids to due potential exposure to the virus or contributing to the spread. It is important to remember that wellness visits and immunizations are vital to a child’s health. They are designed to do the following:
- Allow for ongoing assessments of infants and toddlers during critical developmental stages
- Ensure appropriate growth and nutrition
- Optimize vaccinations before a child comes into contact with a potentially life-threatening infection
On top of medical recommendations to continue wellness visits, many states have specific immunization requirements that children must meet to participate in public education. Many vaccines will need to be spaced at certain intervals and missing an important window may put the child behind schedule for future enrollments.
There are steps being taken to allow children to complete well-visits and immunizations without putting the health and safety of the child, the family, other patients, or employees at risk.
Reasons You May Still Need to Bring a Child into the Doctor’s Office
Doctor’s offices and emergency departments are still seeing and treating patients. Even though most families are opting to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus, there are still important reasons an in-person visit for your child may be required, including the following:
- Newborn visits
- Hearing and vision screenings
- To monitor growth, blood pressure, and other vital signs
- To check labs such as for anemia
- To check on developmental milestones
- To treat infections or injuries
- General adolescent health concerns
Parents should call the pediatrician ahead of time so they can advise them on the best way to come in for a visit.
Precautions & Alternatives for In-Person Well-Visits During COVID-19
While it is important that children continue to receive general pediatric care regardless of the pandemic, healthcare clinics will take steps to protect patients, families, and employees. Before making an appointment for your child it is recommended that you contact your pediatric practice to see what new precautions have been implemented and what telehealth options are available.
A telemedicine visit with the pediatrician might be suggested for an initial assessment or wellness visit. If an in-person visit or immunizations are required, you can ask to wait in the car until a room is ready or consult with the doctor about special processes in place to separate well visits from sick visits.
What to Do If Your Child is Experiencing Symptoms of COVID-19
If you or your child are experiencing symptoms (cough, fever, trouble breathing), may have had contact with a person with COVID-19, or recently traveled it is important to call before heading into the clinic. Patients will be connected with a nurse that can help evaluate risk and symptoms.
If your child has been exposed to COVID-19, or you are concerned about their symptoms, call your pediatrician immediately.
Steps We Are Taking to Encourage Safe Pediatric Care During COVID-19
It is important now more than ever that families stay connected to their pediatrician and healthcare providers. Neighborhood Healthcare is helping minimize exposure and prevent the spread of the virus during pediatric care visits by offering telemedicine options, prescreening areas in front of clinics, established Well and Sick sites, and prescription refills by phone. We are also following CDC guidelines as well as government regulations surrounding testing procedures and social distancing. We will continue to see emergency dental patients at our Escondido Date dental location. Take a look at our list of things you need to know about COVID-19.
Call 1-833-867-4642 to schedule an appointment, find a doctor online, and existing patients can schedule using our patient portal. Our team can help with any additional questions or concerns surrounding general, preventative, and urgent pediatric care for your child during these uncertain times.