By Dr. Helen Chea, MD, Medical Director, Pediatric Healthcare Services, Molina Healthcare of Washington
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all been asked to do our part to limit the spread of the virus and stay home as much as possible. As a result, many children have missed their well-child visits, which has led to dangerously low vaccination rates. There is now concern that we will see an increase in vaccine-preventable diseases in children, especially once they return to school and daycare.
For children, completing regular checkups and staying up to date on shots is an important part of keeping them healthy and should not be delayed during this time.
- - Getting vaccinations on time greatly reduces your child’s risk of serious illness from diseases such as measles and whopping cough.
- - Monitoring growth and developmental milestones is key to ensuring that your child is on track for their age.
- - Regular physical exams and screening tests can help detect problems early so your child can receive the right care at the right time.
- - Other important topics that are frequently discussed include nutrition, injury prevention and mental health.
Clinics are taking steps to keep you and your family safe. Strategies include:
- - Offering visits by phone or video (please check with your child’s provider to see if an in-person visit is more appropriate)
- - Reducing crowding in waiting rooms by asking families to remain outside until they are called
- - Scheduling well visits and sick visits at different times of the day or in different locations
- - Requiring staff, providers, patients, and families to wear a mask or face covering at all times
- - Cleaning exam rooms and equipment between each patient
American Academy of Pediatrics Schedule of Well-Child Visits:
- The first week visit (3 to 5 days old)
- 1 month old
- 2 months old
- 4 months old
- 6 months old
- 9 months old
- 12 months old
- 15 months old
- 18 months old
- 2 years old (24 months)
- 2 ½ years old (30 months)
- 3 years old and annually until 18 years old
If your child is overdue for a visit, please schedule an appointment right away.
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