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How do I handle my child's well visits and immunizations?



Where is the greater risk...go to the pediatrician or not?

immunizations, well visits, baby visits, pediatrician, office

It was the first week of March when we are told by Governor Andrew Cuomo, that New York State will begin a shut down because of the huge spread of the coronovirus.  Kids home from school. No eating out in restaurants. Have to wear face masks when outside. And doctor's offices close.

Took a while for pediatricians to figure out how to handle kids who were getting sick. In fact Dr. Marc Habert, a pediatrician with The Children's Medical Group said that 10 of their 26 docs were infected with Covid-19 during the first week. In fact, Habert and his family were infected but are all doing well now. Once they put new protocols in place there have not been any other Covid-19 cases in their offices.

A recent article Hudson Valley Parent published on telemedicine featured three Five-Star doctors who shared their stories on how they are using telemedicine including Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman, pediatric dentist and owner of Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Stuart Tashman, a pediatrician at Middletown Medical and Dr. Marc Habert, a pediatrician with The Children's Medical Group.

Since the onset of the pandemic, a significant drop in well-child visits have resulted in delays in vaccinations, delays in appropriate screenings and referrals and delays in anticipatory guidance to assure optimal health. This was reported by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) offers new guidelines aimed at sustaining immunization practices through the COVID-19 pandemic as appropriate to help maintain protections against widespread diseases, like the measles.
 
Pediatricians had to rapidly adapt to provide appropriate elements of well exams through telehealth when clinically warranted. However, additional elements require in-person visits. Concern exists that delays in vaccinations may result in secondary outbreaks with vaccine-preventable illnesses.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has continued to express concern for children who may be missing out on their well care during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They say that these visits are an important way to monitor a child’s health, growth, development, and mental health.

The pediatric association also mentions how important it is to keep everyone up to date on their immunizations so that once they go back to school we do not see a resurgence of contagious diseases like measles and whooping cough.

Tashman said, although remote medical services are likely to become an integral part of society’s medical landscape, in-office visits are best. Habert agrees. Likewise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in-person medical care appointments for babies and youngsters are optimal, with some practices, alternating times for well and sick visits and/or physically separate sick patients from well ones.

“I must admit, that telemed is no substitute for in office baby checkups,” Tashman said.


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