Parents encouraged to schedule essential routine well-child exams

From birth to adolescence, well-child exams are used to track a child’s health and growth. During these routine visits, important vaccines may also be given. Due to “Safer at Home” orders, parents may wonder if well-child visits are truly essential or needed.

“I would consider well visits, especially when patients require vaccines, to be essential,” says Dr. Ryan Plamann, pediatrician at Mile Bluff. “We have to take COVID-19 seriously, but we cannot disregard other healthcare needs. If we do not keep up with routine vaccinations, it puts our children at a higher risk for other preventable disease.”

Well-child exams follow a specific schedule that has been outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In addition to reviewing a child’s overall health, growth and general well-being, vital vaccines are given to help prevent diseases like chicken pox, measles, influenza and polio. These vaccines are usually given in a specific order, and if skipped or postponed for too long, the health of children may be at risk.

“Vaccines are essential to keeping our children safe,” explains Dr. Plamann. “By not vaccinating, it opens up our patients to diseases such as meningitis, pneumonia, tetanus and other serious illnesses that are preventable.”

To many people, coming in for a non-emergent healthcare appointment may seem to go against social-distancing recommendations, or may seem to increase the risk of exposure to COVID-19. “At Mile Bluff, we are taking many precautions to keep our healthy patients safe when they come in for their well-child visits,” reassures Dr. Plamann. “Providers and staff are taking and following all the precautions we can.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the general healthcare needs of patients have not gone away. “Illnesses other than COVID-19 are still going around,” says Dr. Plamann. “Skin infections, rashes and urinary tract infections may require children to be seen. Acute injuries, such as possible broken bones, need to be cared for as well. Acute mental health concerns would also be considered essential.”

In addition to in-person clinic appointments and Emergency Department care, Mile Bluff is now providing TeleMedicine services. Thanks to technology, established Mile Bluff patients have the opportunity to connect with their provider from the comfort and safety of home. Using TeleMedicine, patients can get one-on-one time with their provider through TeleHealth (video appointment) or Virtual Check-in (phone appointment).

If you want to schedule one of these essential visits, or to check to see if your child is due for vaccinations, call Mile Bluff Clinic at 608-847-5000 today.