Well child checks in a time of COVID-19: Which visits can wait? Which can't?
Shelter in place.
When did these words suddenly become the framework of daily life?
With our collective efforts to flatten the curve and avoid healthcare settings unless absolutely necessary, a common question is - what do we do about well child visits?
These checkups can be quite frequent in the first two years of life. Which can you delay? Which can you skip?
As you all know, I am quite an advocate of making pediatric more accessible to families at home, which is why Kinder re-designed the entire pediatric experience to take place online (check out our new vaccine services at the end of the post.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~But first, let's talk about traditional pediatric practices ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Recommendations about which checkups to keep on-time has a lot to do with vaccines. Telehealth, in this setting, usually includes a conversation without exams.
Visits that should not be delayed due to important or new vaccines that are a part of a toddler's. baseline immunity:
In a traditional pediatric office, the only way to get vaccines is in the clinic, so most practices are still open for these visits.
Visits that should not be delayed, but can be done by tele-health to discuss breastfeeding, weight gain, and general issues:
Visits that have vaccines that are boosters, which should be able to be delayed by a few weeks without a significant effect. But you can still have the rest of the checkup on time through telehealth - discussions of appropriate growth and developmental milestones:
Visits without vaccines and where the exam can be delayed for a few weeks, but can still discuss growth and development via telehealth now:
2 years, 3 years, 5 years and yearly thereafter
At Kinder, we are proud to offer the only system of telemedicine that includes video, conversation, data and the full exam, whether for these well child checks or any sick visits in between.
We usually prescribe vaccines to be administered at pharmacies for our patients, but given the current situation and in an effort to help patients stay home, we are offering in-home vaccinations to our members whenever possible, depending on availability of these vaccines in a pharmacy near you. We have always dreamed of building a fully mobile in-home vaccine service, and our experiences in the last few weeks are making us excited to expand this idea soon.
Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, right?
From all of us here at Kinder, we wish you and your family safe passage through this storm. Let's be kind to ourselves and to each other, and this, too, shall pass!
Dr. Amy and the Kinder Team