Is it OK to see my pediatrician during COVID-19?
By: Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP
Your pediatrician’s office is open and taking extra steps to make sure you and your children are safe when you come in. Now more than ever, it is especially important that families stay connected to their pediatrician and their medical home. Your pediatrician cares about the health of your baby, child or teen and is happy to talk to you about anything from medicines and illnesses to injuries and behavior issues.
IN THE OFFICE.
Even though families are staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are still important reasons why you may need to bring your child into the office, including:
- Newborn visits after a baby is born.
- To stay up-to-date on immunizations.
- For 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.
ADOLESCENT HEALTH CONCERNS, SUCH AS MENSTRUAL CARE AND DEPRESSION SCREENING.
Pediatricians are taking steps to make sure it’s as safe as possible for visits that need to happen in person. Some offices have separated “sick” and “well” areas of their clinic or are having newborns come in early in the day before any other patients. Calling ahead is important so your pediatrician can advise you on the best way to come in.
For other kinds of appointments, many pediatricians are now offering video visits. Call your pediatrician’s office to see if this is available for your child or teen.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD GETS SICK?
If your child has been exposed to COVID-19, or you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, call your pediatrician immediately. Sometimes It is hard to tell how sick your child is. Luckily, a trip to the hospital is usually not needed for a simple cold or cough, mild diarrhea, constipation, temper tantrums, or sleep problems. Call your pediatrician for any concerns you may have about your child’s health.
If you feel you need to call 911, trust your instincts and call. Otherwise, it is generally a good idea to check in with your pediatrician first. Sometimes they can help over the phone or will help coordinate other kinds of care for your child without going to the hospital.
Most of all, do not avoid calling your pediatrician or worry that a trip to the clinic or hospital will put you or your child at higher risk for COVID-19. Doctor’s offices and emergency departments are still seeing and treating patients and are following all recommended steps to keep patients and families safe.
WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!
We know parents are really scared. But pediatricians are still here, ready to help you care for your child. If your child is sick or injured, or struggling emotionally, pick up the phone and call your pediatrician. We are working hard to make sure we can care for your child, while keeping everyone safe. Give our office a call at 407-566-9700 with any questions or concerns.