Without a doubt, everyone is feeling the burdens of living in the time of a pandemic. But perhaps we can agree that the weight is heavier for parents who have just given birth. Not only do they have to keep themselves as safe and healthy as possible, they have to look after the needs of a newborn baby as well.
Among these needs is the need to visit the pediatrician for routine check-ups. A lot of new parents are probably worried about exposing their newborn child to other people, and in a medical environment no less.
Then again, routine check-ups as well as immunizations are vital and cannot be neglected. Missing any of these pedia visits may hinder your doctor’s ability to accurately assess and track your child’s development. Also, these regular pedia visits are key to spotting possible conditions and illnesses early on, allowing for early intervention. In fact, many medical experts agree that the actual risks of not getting the routine immunizations and check-ups on time outweigh the possible risks of getting Covid-19.
Fortunately, it is very possible to keep your baby safe beyond the comforts of your home. Here are some tips for parents who need to take their children on pedia visits during the pandemic.
1. Confirm your appointment with your pediatrician’s office.
Before going to your pediatrician’s office or clinic, it is a must to call them first to confirm your appointment. If you are taking your baby for a routine checkup or immunization, you can most definitely expect to be seen by your doctor. However, for well visits for children 2 years and older, your doctor may reschedule these appointments to minimize foot traffic, making way for emergency visits and important check-ups.
2. Ask if they offer tele-appointments.
If your schedule does not involve immunization or anything that the doctor needs to perform in person, ask the clinic if they offer telemedicine appointments. Through phone or telehealth options, your doctor can still perform initial assessments. Take note that it is still possible that after your tele-appointment, you might still be asked to take your baby to the clinic.
3. Ask if the clinic separates well visits from sick visits.
Because it is likely that you will still need to visit the actual clinic, ask your pediatrician’s office if they have processes in place to separate newborn visits from sick visits. For instance, some pediatricians schedule all newborn and well visits in the morning and dedicate the afternoon for sick visits. Some doctors have the capacity to separate specific rooms for well patients and sick patients. There is also the option to wait in your car until the doctor is ready to see you and your baby, minimizing your contact with other people.
4. Ask if the clinic offers drive-through immunization.
For immunization concerns, it is also possible that your pediatrician may be offering a “drive-through” service for young patients like your newborn baby.
5. Do the proper precautions when going inside your doctor’s clinic.
Your pediatrician is most probably doing their very best to keep their office or clinic clean and safe. Do your part by following their set guidelines, wearing a mask on yourself (babies younger than 2 years old should not wear a mask), and not going near other people.
In fact, because your newborn baby is not wearing a mask, it is best if you don’t keep conversing with other people to minimize contact. Do not loiter around. Go in when it is time for your appointment and go out when you’re done.
It is also a good idea to bring your own books and toys to entertain your baby. Don’t let them touch anything else unnecessarily, and keep your baby away from other children.
6. After visiting your pediatrician, continue practicing the proper precautions.
The precautions to keep the spread of the virus does not end in the doctor’s office. After visiting your pediatrician, even if you feel like you have not been exposed to other patients, it is highly necessary to practice the proper Covid-19 precautions.
Before entering your car, wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. If this is not possible, use alcohol to sanitize your hands. Similar to masks, do not put alcohol or hand sanitizer on your baby. At home, throw all the clothes you worn into the washing machine, shower immediately, and bathe your baby. Make sure that everyone who has gone outside takes a shower and has a fresh change of clothes afterward.
Things are different now from before, and there are a bit more guidelines in place for pedia visits during these times. However, there is no reason to be scared and forgo seeing your pediatrician as routine check-ups and scheduled immunizations are important in keeping your newborn baby healthy and ready to fight viruses. With the tips mentioned above, you can keep your baby safe while visiting your pediatrician during the pandemic.