June 24, 2020
Now more than ever, it is important to take care of your family, which means scheduling healthcare visits with your child’s primary care provider. We want to assure you we are following the necessary precautions to keep your family safe when you visit us for care. Here are 3 reasons why you should schedule ongoing recommended pediatric appointments for your child.
- Maintain vaccination schedules to protect against preventable diseases
Many childhood infections have been virtually eliminated, thanks to the success of the vaccine program overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. However, we have noticed a decrease in childhood vaccination rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. While fighting this virus, we cannot allow a rise in vaccine-preventable diseases such as pertussis, diphtheria, polio, measles and bacterial meningitis. We recommend every parent work with their child’s primary care provider to ensure their child’s vaccination records are up to date. This year, it is especially important for all children to receive a flu shot in the fall.
- Well-child visits, including evidence-based parenting advice
In addition to vaccinations, your child’s provider also examines their growth and development, and looks for any new physical problems. Age-appropriate developmental screenings are performed to monitor social, language, communication and motor skills. Your child’s physician may also provide a mental health evaluation to screen for depression and anxiety. This screening is especially important because of the stress children are under due to the uncertainty of COVID-19. Your child’s primary care provider may also share valuable guidance to help you navigate the challenges of raising children in today’s world.
- Establishing and maintaining treatment plans for chronic conditions
While most children are healthy, 20%-25% of children and adolescents have a chronic health problem, such as asthma, obesity or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Proper care coordination with your child’s primary care provider can help keep these conditions under control in a way that allows your child to lead a normal life. Most of this care can be managed through regular telehealth visits. Telehealth visits allow you to meet with your child’s primary care provider in the comfort and safety of your own home. You can review your child’s chronic condition with the primary care provider and decide on any changes that might be required. While in-person visits are still recommended, we believe telehealth will allow us to work much more closely with parents and children to manage their chronic conditions.