Pediatricians Urge Parents to Return to Normalcy in Visits

Parents of small children have been in a state of panic since the Covid-19 crisis started. Thankfully, the novel coronavirus doesn’t act much like H1N1, which infected 61 million Americans back in 2009 and actually claimed the lives of thousands of small children. This particular pandemic seems to target older individuals a lot more, and there are only a few rare cases of younger children getting the virus. Though this doesn’t mean parents aren’t still panicking.

With stay and home orders given in many states, and media constantly reporting on every conceivable negative aspect of the coronavirus, many parents have started to keep their kids locked inside, the point they’re no longer seeing their pediatricians for appointments and check-ups. Though according to the News Observer on Thursday, May 21, who spoke to pediatrician Dr. Yun Boylston and other doctors, pediatricians are urging families to continuing attending their scheduled appointments.

While children may not be suffering from the coronavirus like other adults are, there are still many issues that affect children, which is why they have to see these physicians in the first place. Different strains of the flu are still an issue, and a range of other childhood ailments can creep up on unsuspecting parents. Monitoring how children are doing is vital to their overall health, and missing these appointments, physicians like Dr. Boylston fear, might result in situations where minor ailments turn into emergency situations.

According to Dr. Boylston, there are still many challenges associated with having to practice medicine at a time when a viral outbreak is happening around the globe. Doctors, already in the habit of practicing good hygiene, have to be extra vigilant to ensure that everything is clean and germ free. Doctors are asking that only the parents and the children come in to these appointments, not bringing in their brothers and sisters, or other family members. The children still need to have their scheduled appointments and check-ups, though having these clinics and offices packed with people is not something the doctors want.

Though the issue that Dr. Boylston is facing, who practices medicine in North Carolina, is that most parents are opting out of bringing their children in for their visits. They would simply rather not risk their children getting sick. This is understandable, of course, especially considering how drastic media makes this situation out to be.

However, to date, there are only a few rare examples of babies and small children getting the coronavirus and displaying the same sorts of symptoms that adults display. In smaller children, the viral antibodies are suggested to still contribute to things like pneumonia on the drastic end, though mostly involve things like a sore throat, fatigue, and diarrhea. No parent wants to put their child in harm’s way, though pediatricians would like parents to know that their children are at lesser risk of this virus, particularly when proper hygiene and social distancing measures are practiced.

Keeping Your Children Safe

The CDC doesn’t have a special list of precautions for children per se; they want the same hygiene practiced with children as adults would practice. Social distancing, washing one’s hands, and wearing a mask if in public. According to the CDC and other health professionals, the issue with children getting the coronavirus isn’t necessarily that they will get sick and start suffering bad symptoms. Rather, it’s about children being carriers for the virus. Because the children may appear healthy after carrying the antibodies for a while, they can spread this to other adults. Aunts and uncles, neighbors, grandparents, etc, can get sick from the child, even if the child isn’t displaying any symptoms. So it’s very important that children avoid this virus, every bit as much as adults.

No one knows to date how long this will all last. For most states in America, the curve is starting to flatten. This means that while people are still getting sick, and many people are still dying, the rate at which people are testing positive is lowering, flattening out. This is good news, of course, as it means we shouldn’t be that far removed from getting back to business as usual in America.

Though, in the meantime, pediatricians out there are suggesting that the care of children cannot be neglected simply due to a virus pandemic. They would like parents to still bring their children to appointments, just being safe about it.

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