Update April 1, 2020 – Virtual checkups added. See #2 below.
This information is specific for the current global pandemic caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 that causes a disease called COVID-19. School closings, containment zones and quarantines are ramping up anxiety amongst all of us, from the youngest, who respond to our stress, to the elderly, who are most affected, to those of us in the middle, who feel responsible for the whole family.
Your doctors at La Peer Pediatrics are here not only for medical care but as a source of reliable and sane information. We suggest you look at COVID-19 information from two perspectives.
A) Personal Safety: the vast majority of people infected by COVID-19 will have mild illness, especially children.
B) Community responsibility: the CDC and Health Department are trying to limit spread, or at least slow it down. Self-quarantine, containment areas and social distancing are being implemented for these purposes. No playdates, parties, sleepovers or families/friends visiting each other’s homes. Keep children away from the elderly, as children may carry the infection without appearing ill.
The best way to stay healthy is by practicing good hand washing and remembering not to touch your face. Everyone should cough and sneeze into their elbows and stay away from others whenever possible. If you or anyone in your family is sick, stay home.
We will help you through this crisis, as we have so many times in the past. Our doctors were on the front line of H1N1 infection – we made it through that, and together, we will make it through this.
Our office has implemented procedures to keep you safe. No ill visits are being seen at the office at this time. We are following appropriate CDC recommendations. We are cleaning intensely and often. All doctors and staff are wearing masks, gloves and gowns when providing care to patients to protect you and to protect ourselves. We are also taking everyone’s temperatures twice a day.
In order for us to do our part in best serving and caring for your children, the following measures have been implemented.
1) We will thoroughly screen all ill visits by phone. Based on those discussions, we will determine the best course of action.
2) We will be using Telemedicine visits so that we may avoid in-office visits whenever possible. These are for visits such as pink eye, some rashes like diaper rash, eczema or viral rashes like hand, foot, and mouth disease, ADHD medication rechecks, and likely other visits that we deem appropriate. We will also schedule prenatal visits by phone or telemedicine visit.
In addition to the in-person/in-office physicals for children age 2 years and under that we are currently performing in the office, we are doing telemedicine video check-ups for children over age 2 years. These will prove beneficial as we can discuss any concerns parents have and address many of the issues we would discuss in person such as development, sleep, toilet training and nutrition. Those who participate in telemedicine check-ups should still book in-person physicals for a future date when the stay at home order has been lifted. At that visit, we will check height, weight, blood pressure, hearing, vision, update vaccines and address any other concerns.
3) We encourage those with children age 2 years and under to continue to schedule their physical examinations/well-child check-ups so that children do not get behind on vaccines or behind on growth evaluations and developmental screenings. All patients and parents will be screened by phone and in person for illness and rescheduled if any illness symptoms are present.
4) We will not be testing for coronavirus COVID-19 in the office. Testing availability is extremely limited. If you are ill, stay home and call us for advice. This is for the protection of other patients and our staff.
5) Only one well caregiver may accompany a child (and no siblings).
What else can you do? Shut off the TV and give yourself and your children a break from the news and scary images. When possible, keep their schedules as consistent as possible. Don’t let screen time take over during all this down-time. Some social media and video chatting are fine to stay connected with others but endless video gaming and binging shows and movies is not the best for anyone’s health. Make a daily schedule that includes some form of exercise like taking a walk or family outdoor sports, reading, cooking and doing puzzles, games, & crafts. Everyone can pitch in to do chores.
Look for anxiety symptoms – such as moodiness, trouble sleeping and separation anxiety. Talk to your children about their fears. Reassure them. Please look at Healthychildren.org from the American Academy of Pediatrics for advice on how to speak to children about COVID19.
Check on your elderly neighbors, family and friends. These people are most at risk for complications of this coronavirus. Ask if you can get them food, medicine or anything else they need. We are a community, we need to take care of each other.
If there are other things we can do to alleviate any fears you may have, please reach out to us. We want to hear from you.
La Peer Pediatrics