Don’t Delay Your Child’s Wellness Check up – It’s Even More Important Now
By Heidi Weinroth, MD

In the new reality of dealing with the coronavirus, parents may be concerned about keeping in-person well visits for their child. It is important to remember that routine wellness checkups are vital to a child’s health and essential to evaluate growth and development. Measuring your child’s growth with accurate height and weight recordings, on schedule, ensures your child is growing appropriately and helps to identify any medical concerns before further harm occurs. Early intervention is the best way to help improve long-term outcomes for children who are falling behind in their milestones.

Illness does not take a back seat during a pandemic. Unfortunately, children can still get serious or other life-threatening illnesses that need to be evaluated and treated. It is not necessary to assume that every fever or cough is COVID-19; however, a fever needs to be addressed, especially in young children who cannot verbalize what they are feeling. COVID-19 may be ruled out by taking the test, but the presence of a fever needs to be evaluated closely for its root cause and appropriate treatments.

To prevent outbreaks of serious diseases, it is imperative that children stay on schedule with their routine immunizations even during the pandemic. Vaccinations are the most important reason to continue seeing your pediatrician to keep your child healthy. If vaccines are delayed or postponed for long periods, preventable illnesses may proliferate and cause unnecessary harm including pain, disability, and even death from diseases like measles and whooping cough.

While many school systems, youth sports organizations, summer camps, and other activities are in various stages of reopening in the summer and the fall, that may also mean required annual physicals for your children for them to participate. Parents may want to check with their children’s schools and organizations now to see what is required and schedule an appointment to avoid the end-of-summer rush.

At this time, all medical practices are taking extra precautions and new safety practices to ensure that your visit to the pediatrician is safe for everyone. If you have specific concerns, be sure to ask your care provider.

July 14, 2020
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