Getting Kid’s Routine Health Visits Back on Schedule
As daily activities return with the gradual reopening of Arizona’s communities, it is important to consider essential medical practices as part of the process — specifically vaccinations for pediatric patients. This includes children ranging from newborn to 18 years of age.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant decrease in routine checkups for children. It is important to resume these visits as each one provides specific protective measures that play an important part in a child’s healthy development. This makes them an essential ingredient to the new normal in which we are living.
“It is understandable that there has been a reduction of visits to pediatric clinics during these times,” said Dr. Mark Stephan, Chief Medical Officer at Equality Health. “Parents worry about their children’s health and want to avoid potential contagion.”
According to Stephan, it is crucial to understand how fundamental medical checkups are for the healthy growth of infants, young children, teenagers and young adults. The American Academy of Pediatrics stresses their importance during a child’s different stages of development. The visits, which start right after birth, allow health care providers to stay on top of vaccinations, provide vision and hearing tests and perform routine lab tests to find deficiencies as well as supervise the child’s mental health. These regular doctor visits allow providers to detect any abnormalities in a timely manner.
The Doctor is In
Professionals in the Equality Health Network™ have taken steps to receive pediatric patients and their families in a safe fashion. Check with your pediatrician’s office about specifics, but generally they will provide separate waiting areas for patients who are sick and those who are healthy. They will also frequently clean and sanitize the clinic. Last, but not least, they will continue to offer virtual consultations through Zoom.
“We believe it is now safe to visit the medical clinic,” Stephan said. “We ask that you call your doctor’s office to make sure that they are ready to receive you since we abide by health protocols that allow doctors to separate minors who are sick from those who are not.”
An Ounce of Prevention
Though it is always important that infants to young adults keep up to date with vaccines, it’s more so in these current times. If children don’t receive immunizations on time, they become more susceptible to childhood diseases. If a considerable amount of children go without, this could create an outbreak in their community.
“If vaccinations are not applied to minors in time,” Stephan advised, “there can be an increase of illnesses, such as measles, that is preventable. That is why it is recommended to update missed vaccines as soon as possible.”
Vaccinations, though they cause a momentary ouch, prevent the future pain of disease. Their ouch of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Published in Prensa Arizona, 06/11/2020