Keep Up With Your Baby's Check-Ups and Immunizations During COVID-19
April 23, 2020
Many are doing their best to stay home to avoid contracting COVID-19, but it can be confusing to then get a call from your pediatric provider reminding you about an upcoming appointment. What's best for you and your child?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says check-ups, also called well-child checks, and immunizations should be a priority for infants and young children up to age 2 whenever possible.
Why is it so important for infants and children under 24 months old to make those check-up appointments? Most children with COVID-19 tend to have milder symptoms than adults, says the Center for Disease Control (CDC). However, illness from vaccine-preventable diseases, such as whooping cough, diphtheria, measles and pneumococcus can be very serious for infants and young children. Missing early check-ups ends up delaying their primary vaccine schedule, which is vital to keeping your child healthy.
In addition, as many other low- and middle-income countries have recently suspended their mass vaccination programs, the potential exposure to many vaccine preventable diseases will likely increase.
Avoiding Non-COVID-19 Sickness
Health care providers want to make sure there are no outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases on top of the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be achieved by keeping your child current with the routine check-ups through 18 months of age with your pediatric provider.
And, of course, your child's pediatrician will still monitor your child's growth curves, development, oral health, fluoride varnish, lead screening and a variety of other pediatric services during those appointments.
Many practices, such as those at UH Rainbow, have taken steps to keep your child healthy during their visit. For example, offices are limiting their check-ups to early morning while reserving the remainder of the day for sick visits. Some offices with multiple sites use one office for well checks and one for sick visits.
Also, consider using telehealth, which allows you to meet with your child's pediatrician via telephone or online from the safety and convenience of your own home.
University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital has the region’s largest coordinated network of pediatric primary care providers, committed to delivering the very best care to children of all ages. Find a pediatric practice near you.