Now Is Not the Time to Skip Appointments, Pediatricians Say

Keep those well visits and vaccines on the calendar.

By: Amanda Mushro

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Photo by: LWA/Dann Tardif

LWA/Dann Tardif

While social distancing has changed much of our day-to-day lives and many things on your calendar have been cancelled, there is one appointment you should keep—your children’s visit to their pediatrician.

Health experts agree, staying home is key to keeping your family healthy right now, but it’s important that parents stay in contact with their children’s doctors and maintain regular checkups.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that we keep up with [routine] checkups and we prioritize those under 2 because that’s who gets the vaccines, and they need that protection,” President of the American Academy of Pediatrics Dr. Sara H. Goza, M.D. said in an interview with People.

“There is a really important reason for children not to miss their vaccines,” she added. “If we do that, we will put ourselves at risk for having a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak like measles or whooping cough.”

Dr. Goza also said that parents have more flexibility when scheduling older kid’s appointments but, if a child is due for a vaccine or if parents have concerns about their child’s health and wellbeing, appointment should be kept.

These are difficult times for everyone—especially your children.

“The other big thing we are very concerned about going forward and the longer this last is the mental health of our children,” Goza said. “Their routines have been uprooted. There are many families who are under a lot of stress—financially, emotionally, all of those things—which then puts their children under stress.”

While many offices are closed right now, your child’s pediatrician is not. If you are still feeling uneasy about taking your child to their appointment, call your pediatrician’s office to discuss what policies and procedures they have in place during the coronavirus. From cleaning their waiting and exam rooms to how they are staggering patients, the added precautions may help ease your mind about taking your child to the doctor.

Many doctors are also using telehealth visits to limit the number of patients coming into the office. So in some cases, an appointment could be as easy as logging on to your computer!

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