We have seen so much confusion across the United States and the world over the past few months. Although there will continue to be a lot of unknowns and uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, this is not the time to halt well-child visits.
Dr. Ira Listijani, Pediatrician at Keystone Pediatrics, explains why well-child visits are so important and why they should not be put off due to COVID-19.
Should I wait to bring my child for their checkup until COVID-19 improves?
No. The American Academy of Pediatrics put out a statement that strongly supports the continued provision of healthcare for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare providers are taking these guidelines very seriously and would like parents to know the risks of missing a wellness appointment likely outweigh the risk of coronavirus exposure during the visit.
Why are well-child visits so important?
Well-child visits are a time when parents can check up on their child’s health and make sure that they are growing and developing normally. Childhood is a time of rapid growth and change. These visits are also a great opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have with your child’s healthcare provider. It’s important to keep up with these visits because if any problems are found it is good to begin intervention as early as possible.
What types of things do healthcare providers check for during these visits?
During well-child visits your child’s healthcare provider will track their growth and developmental milestones including social behaviors and learning, administer needed vaccines to prevent illnesses like measles, whooping cough and other serious diseases, talk about ways you can help keep your child healthy and prevent problems, provide early intervention if any problems are found and discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s health and wellbeing.
How often are well-child visits recommended?
Children have more well-child visits when they are at younger ages because development is faster during these years. Well-child visits are usually performed two to three days after bringing the baby home, and at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 15 months, 18 months, 2 years, 2 and a half years, 3 years and yearly after that.
What precautions are being taken to make well-child visits safe during COVID-19?
At Keystone Pediatrics, we are taking extra steps to keep our patients and staff safe during this pandemic. Our protocols include pre-screening phone calls to check for symptoms, separated areas for non-COVID and COVID-related visits, thorough disinfection between patients, more aggressive end-of-day cleaning procedures, and daily symptom and temperature checks for employees as well as mandatory masking of every staff member. Parents and patients 2 years and up are also requested to wear masks unless they have a medical condition that precludes them from wearing a mask.
Don’t put off well-child visits. They are an important part of keeping your child healthy and safe.
This article contains general information only and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis, treatment or care by a qualified health care provider.