Ask the Pediatrician: Dr. Benjamin Apple, Advanced Pediatric Associates | by
How can parents get safe, essential medical care for their children during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Our telehealth services enable parents and children to use secured video technology to do a virtual visit with a pediatrician from the comfort and safety of their home. Our nurses talk to the parents first to assess the problem and ensure that a virtual visit is appropriate. If a child needs to be seen at our office, we’ve taken the necessary measures—mask requirements for all, a direct move into the exam room—to keep everyone safe.
“Parents should never be fearful about seeking medical care for a sick child.”
What should a parent do if a child has a fever?
Don’t panic! Lots of things can cause a fever besides COVID-19. Your child may have a urinary tract infection, strep or even appendicitis. All of these conditions can be serious if left untreated. Parents should never be fearful about seeking medical care for a sick child.
How has COVID-19 affected children with special healthcare needs?
The pandemic has changed children’s worlds dramatically. Children with autism are especially sensitive to disruptions in their everyday routines. Children with sensory processing disorders may be very uncomfortable wearing masks. But even kids without special needs are at risk for situational depression and anxiety brought on by these unexpected life changes. Parents should be on the lookout for behavioral changes—like irritability, unusual outbursts, self-isolation—that may indicate a need for medical attention.
What can parents do to protect their children’s health during the pandemic?
Wear masks, wash hands often with soap and water, use hand sanitizer when you’re out and make sure your child gets the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine won’t protect against COVID (we’re still waiting for that vaccine to be developed). But it protects against four different flu viruses, including H1N1, a subtype of influenza A. In 2009, we had an H1N1 swine flu pandemic. Earlier this year, scientists raised concerns about another potential H1N1 swine flu pandemic. Your pediatrician’s office should have the flu vaccine available by late August. To ensure the vaccine has time to take effect and protect against the virus during the height of flu season, it’s best to get your child vaccinated no later than the end of October.
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