Maintaining your child’s regular medical care is still important while sheltering in place. Dr. Gigi Youngblood of Pediatrics East offers tips for parents and caregivers.
Well Child Check Ups
“If your child is due for immunizations, and everyone in your home is well, plan to keep your well check up unless otherwise instructed by your pediatrician. Most offices have changed the flow of the office to minimize risk of exposure to you and your child,” Youngblood said.
Only one caregiver (no other family members, including siblings) should bring your child in to see the pediatrician. The nurses and doctors will be wearing masks, and possibly goggles and gowns, as we come to see you. The youngest patients, particularly those in need of immunizations and well visits, will typically be scheduled during the morning hours and will be seen in rooms that have been designated for well visits only.
But, when in doubt, contact your pediatrician to discuss details specific for your situation. “While there are risks of leaving home for a check up, there are also significant risks if large numbers of children get behind on vaccinations,” Youngblood said.
Chronic Health Conditions
If your child is not due for immunizations but has chronic health conditions such as asthma, allergies, ADHD or eczema, a telehealth visit may be a good option. “A telehealth visit might be a great way to check in and ensure your child is getting good symptom control and optimal management,” Youngblood said.
Insurance coverage for telehealth visits varies, although many insurance providers are currently covering telehealth visits at little or no cost to the patient, Youngblood said.
What if my child is sick?
Telehealth is also an excellent way to touch base with your doctor if your child is sick. Your doctor will decide if a telehealth visit is appropriate for your child in any particular situation, but this is a great way for your doctor to assess the situation and determine the next best step.
What about an injury?
If the injury is something you would typically have seen your pediatrician for, Youngblood said, call as soon as possible to see if this is something that could be safely assessed at the office. Some minor injuries might be safely assessed via telehealth or a video conference with your doctor.
For more information about your child’s health and resources related to COVID-19, please visit www.childrensal.org/coronavirus.