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Well, Well, Well… Visits

Our newest co-op care professional, Anne Omland (photographed with her family, above), has taken on the topic of pediatric visits in the time of pandemics for this week’s blog! Thank you Anne and Dr. Eitan Kilchevsky at Ridgefield Pediatrics for your questions, answers, and thoroughness. (And now a shameless plug from Baby Botanica for Anne: if you are expecting, sign up for her 5-part virtual hypnobirthing series beginning soon, here! May 16, 17, 23, 24, 30th – 12:30-3pm.)

My son turned one on the first day of the stay at home orders. We watched him shovel a cake in his face (while his sisters waited impatiently for their slices) and then crawl at warp speed after the dog. It was classic, and he wasn’t the wiser that there was no party, no friends, no family. And it was lovely.

Because of the state of things in mid-March, our doctor being out of the office, and much up in the air, I canceled his well visit. Now, with his vaccines past due and it being two months later (boy, a lot changes in two months!), and with word of some places opening up again, I wondered about when to get my son back in and how and…well let’s just say, I had a lot of questions. I imagine I’m not alone in this unknown so I reached out to our pediatrician, Dr. Eitan Kilchevsky at Ridgefield Pediatrics and he was kind enough to answer some questions that I hope you’ll find helpful.

Should I still take my child to his/her well visit? Or is it best to wait and see?

It depends on the practice. In the first year, scheduled appointments are important for vaccines, to monitor growth and to follow development. Most offices are geared to address well and sick visits at this point- call your office to confirm. Some visits can and should be conducted via telemedicine.

How are newborn appointments being handled?

Newborns have to be seen one day following discharge from the nursery, a few days later, and at one month. (At Ridgefield Pediatrics, well and sick visits are held in separate parts of the office with different entrances).

Can my child get an antibody test?

Having antibodies does not mean the person is immune to COVID19- this is our current understanding. At the same time it may take a while for antibodies to develop after being infected so a negative test may not mean a lack of infection.

What if my child is sick with something besides COVID symptoms?

Call the office- many pediatricians have policies such as triage in the parking lot or well visits in the morning and sick visits in the afternoon. Telemedicine may be used in mild cases.

What do you recommend as best practices for coming to an office visit?

  • Call the office and find out how they operate these days
  • Use masks and gloves
  • If you have more than one child, find out if the pediatrician prefers you to bring them at different times
  • Be mindful that physicians and nurses are operating under a lot of stress and have their families to return to so please practice extra caution

Things are changing rapidly and every office is different so if you have questions, hopefully, you feel comfortable reaching out to see how your office is operating. In the meantime, I hope this provides some help!

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