But kids still should see their doctors for well-child visits and other care. Here's
what parents should know about visiting the doctor during this time.
Should Healthy Kids Still Go for Checkups?
It's always important for kids to have their growth, development, and well-being
tracked by a doctor. This is especially true for newborns
and children with complex health conditions. Finding health problems during checkups
lets doctors give care to prevent them from getting worse. Not seeing a doctor until
symptoms are more serious can affect a child's long-term health.
Find out how your health care provider is doing regular checkups. Some do virtual
visits through telehealth
or phone calls. Others offer in-person visits during special times when only healthy
children are present.
Should Kids Still Get Vaccines?
Children should get all their vaccines on
schedule. Skipping vaccines
could put them at risk for diseases that vaccines can prevent, such as measles
and whooping cough.
These illnesses have made a comeback, possibly because some kids are not getting their
vaccinations. As communities and schools reopen, children are exposed to these germs
when in public. Those who aren't protected by vaccines are more likely to get infected.
Kids with an infection may have a harder time getting better if they also get COVID-19.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu
shot each year. It's always important to protect your family from the
flu. And COVID-19
vaccines are available for people 16 and older. Everyone should get vaccinated
against COVID-19 as soon as they're eligible. Studies are under way to see if the
vaccines are safe and effective in children younger than 16.
What Should I Do if My Child Is Sick?
Children will still get bellyaches,
and other health problems. Doctors are ready to help make kids feel better. Call your
doctor's office to ask what to do. They will tell you whether you need an in-person
visit or if telehealth is an option. They also can tell you what to do if your child
needs care right away and they're not available.
What if We Have an Emergency?
Call 911 right away if your child might have a health emergency.
Signs include your child turning blue, not breathing, being very hard to wake or rouse,
or being unconscious.
Otherwise, it's always a good idea to call your doctor's office for advice or instructions.
They might offer help over the phone or guide you to a local urgent care center or
a hospital's emergency department. If you worry about crowds or a long wait, many
ERs are less crowded now due to social
distancing and the use of telehealth.
How Are Health Care Facilities Protecting Patients and Families?
Clinics, doctor's offices, and hospitals have learned a lot about how to keep patients
safe since the pandemic began. Health care providers wear masks and other protective
gear, and are vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect themselves and the patients they
To prevent the spread of the virus and ensure a safe environment for you and your
Do regular deep cleaning of the office and its furniture and equipment.
Limit the number of people in waiting areas. For example, they might have people
wait in their car until a room is ready.
Screen people who enter the building by asking about symptoms or taking their
for all staff and any visitors over 2 years old.
Schedule well visits and sick visits at different times of the day. For example,
they might do well visits in the morning and sick visits in the afternoon. This lets
healthy kids come in the morning after a thorough office cleaning.
Physically separate patients. They might see sick patients in a different room
or even a different building from healthy kids who come for a checkup.