It is Safe and Important to Keep Your Child’s Well-Child Visit During COVID-19 Pandemic

September 21, 2020

Christine Tanner Perdue, PNP

It is Safe and Important to Keep Your Child’s Well-Child Visit During COVID-19 Pandemic
By: Christine Perdue, PNP

Since mid-March, when COVID-19 was declared a national emergency, vaccination rates among children have plummeted. In fear of exposing their children and families to COVID-19, many parents have opted to delay their child’s well-child exams, in turn leaving their children at increased risk for preventable diseases such as Measles, Chicken Pox, and 14 other preventable diseases. The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics has called this “very worrisome” with fear that a sudden decrease in vaccinations will lead to potential outbreaks in diseases that previously have been well controlled by herd immunity. 

There are also other repercussions seen with missed well-child exams beyond increasing the likelihood of potential outbreaks preventable with routine vaccination. Childhood is a time of rapid growth and developmental change. During well-child visits appropriate growth and development is assessed. By delaying these visits, children are at risk for allowing abnormal physical exam findings, developmental delays, and other health issues that may require immediate intervention to be overlooked. Early identification and intervention is the cornerstone of maintaining children’s health, which makes keeping your child’s well-visit scheduled is so important. 

The health and well-being of your child is a Pediatrician’s main concern and therefore pediatrician offices around the country are taking significant steps to make attending scheduled well-visits as safe as possible for both children and their families. There are many precautions offices are taking to limit your child’s risk of COVID-19 exposure. 

These may include: 

  • Requiring all patients (2 years old and above), parents, and staff to wear masks
  • Offering “only well-visit appointment” time windows during the day so that no sick patients will be in the office when your child comes in for their well visit
  • Offering alternative visit types of sick exams including telemedicine visits and vehicle visits
  • Physically separating patients in different locations of the office
  • Allowing patients to wait in their car until an exam room is available
  • Use of additional Personal Protective Equipment when appropriate
  • Screening all visits for potential COVID-19 exposure and symptoms before allowing an in-office visit
  • Rigorously sanitizing all patient areas between patients

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics “Medical offices are among the safest places you can be right now given the really extensive measures they’ve taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 both to themselves and their patients. Parents shouldn’t be afraid to go to their doctor”. 

We, at Gateway Pediatrics, are taking appropriate measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to keep your children and family healthy. We care about your child’s health, safety, and development and look forward to seeing your child for their routine well-child visit.

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