How COVID-19 is Affecting Pediatric Health Care

June 22, 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has changed the way we do just about everything, from going grocery shopping to chatting with our neighbors. It’s also changed the policies and procedures used by healthcare professionals, including the doctors and nurses who provide pediatric services.

COVID-19 typically affects adults and older adults, but children can develop the disease as well. Although kids who contract Coronavirus typically experience no symptoms or very mild symptoms, children with underlying health problems may be at risk for severe illness with COVID-19. Some children can develop a rare condition, known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), which can lead to life-threatening problems with the heart or other organs. Children can also spread Coronavirus to others, including adults and those with serious underlying conditions.

In addition to providing routine care, such as administering vaccinations, pediatric health professionals must now look for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 in their patients. Pediatric offices must also reduce the risk of Coronavirus transmission to and from patients, parents, staff members, and the community.

During the shutdown, many patients could not get to the doctor, which means many kids fell behind on their vaccinations. So, pediatricians are working hard to get children up to date on vaccinations, screenings, and other regular care. However, pediatricians and other healthcare professionals are concerned that the delay in vaccinations could trigger outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses.

Taking Your Child to the Pediatrician after the COVID-19 Shutdown: Here’s What You Should Expect

Your pediatric care center probably adopted several new strategies to reduce the risk of Coronavirus transmissions in their facilities. These new pediatric medicine strategies may include:

  • Scheduling healthy patients for regular checkups and sick patients at different times of the day.
  • Reducing crowding in waiting rooms by having parents and children wait outside or in their cars until called in for their appointment.
  • Performing wellness visits and breastfeeding consults in a separate child health center from sick visits.
  • Making sure all healthy patients are current on their appropriate screenings, complete physical exams, laboratory exams, and vaccines.
  • Using Telehealth technology to schedule “sick visits” remotely and through video conferencing.

How to Keep Your Kids Safe and Healthy

Keeping your children safe and healthy is a high priority during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few steps you can take to reduce your child’s risk of contracting or spreading Coronavirus or other infectious diseases.

Wear a Mask

Teach your child how to wear a mask properly if he or she is over the age of two; masks should fit over their nose and under their chin.

Require Good Handwashing

Instruct your children to wash their hands for 20 seconds; for best results, teach them to sing Happy Birthday from beginning to end twice.

Practice Social Distancing

Teach your kids to stand at least six feet away from people who do not live in your house.

Reschedule Non-Essential Events and Travel

Depending on the pattern of outbreaks and restrictions imposed by states or local governments, you may need to reschedule non-essential events and travel plans.

Learn the Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19 and MIS-C in Children

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough; signs and symptoms of MIS-C include fever, severe abdominal pain, or a new rash – cough is not always present in MIS-C.

Make an Appointment for Your Child

Routine medical care is one of the best ways to keep kids safe and healthy.

Learn More About COVID-19 and Children

Consult with trusted sources for information about COVID-19. These sources include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and your pediatrician.

Contact your New Haven CT pediatric professionals at Pediatric and Medical Associates  for more information on how COVID-19 is affecting pediatric care, and for tips on keeping your child and the rest of your family healthy.

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