ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — When things began shutting down because of coronavirus, many people stopped going to the doctor for regular checkups. And while doctors say that may not be a huge deal for adults, it's pretty significant for young children.
Dr. Rachel Dawkins is the head medical director of Pediatrics Clinics at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. She said all children need to see the doctor for their wellness check-ups, but especially if they are under two.
Those routine visits are extremely important to check on the child's growth and development, to answer questions and to get an idea of the general well being of the child.
It's also when many kids get vaccinations, a visit that should not be skipped or missed.
"We could see outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses like measles, pertussis or whooping cough, rotavirus. We could be seeing outbreaks because not only is your child at risk. But, if we decrease 'herd immunity' or immunity to the whole community from everyone being vaccinated, we could have a real problem. Not just with coronavirus, but we could see outbreaks of other diseases we typically don't see."
Dr. Dawkins said she understands many parents are scared to bring their children into the doctor, however, these visits and vaccinations are so important that they should not be missed and they must be done in the office.
So if you missed your child's visit, you need to call and reschedule as soon as possible.
Also, all doctors' offices are taking extra precautions. Be sure to ask what you need to do when you call for your appointment. Dr. Dawkins said to do this as soon as possible if you missed a visit.
She also anticipates it will get busy later in the summer as kids, hopefully, prepare to go back to school in August.
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