Even after almost two years of dealing with the COVID pandemic, parents are still confused about whether or not they should be taking their kids to the doctor. Sometimes it’s just for routine visits and other times it’s because their children are not feeling well and showing symptoms which may or may not be related to the coronavirus. It could be that they are just experiencing a seasonal cold or influenza but it could also be something more serious. If you are among those who are still reluctant to take a sick child out in the midst of a pandemic, here are some thoughts that might help you make an informed decision that’s right for you.
Routine Visit vs. Sick Child
This is, perhaps, the most important question you can ask yourself during these uncertain times when SARS-CoV-2 cases are on the rise again in much of the country. If you have a regularly scheduled office visit such as you would have for an annual school physical, you need to weigh the pros and cons of whether your provider is in a building that also houses or sees COVID patients. Most clinics see both healthy and extremely sick people, so this is a top priority. Bear in mind that most providers offer telehealth for COVID initial assessments or treatment of mild cases, so telehealth for regular visits is a viable option as well!
Level of Prevention at Your Provider
Sometimes there isn’t much your pediatrician can do about the level of prevention offered at their land-based clinic. Few doctors are located in standalone offices anymore so there is always that to consider. As noted above, telehealth is always an option if you feel other providers in the same building aren’t taking COVID as seriously as your child’s doctor. If you have any concerns whatsoever, call your doctor to see if a video appointment through their telehealth network would be a viable alternative. They get paid either way during these times of a global pandemic and it just might be they will offer that option.
Is Anyone in the Home at Extreme Risk?
One of the most important questions you could be asking yourself is whether or not you have any at-risk family members living in the same household. Bear in mind that immune compromised people, among which are the elderly, can ‘catch COVID’ even if no one else in the household shows signs or symptoms. A healthy person can pick up a sufficient viral load to infect others without ever showing signs of COVID.
In the end, it’s all about the level of protection and/or prevention you and your provider are comfortable with during this time when SARS-CoV-2 cases are on the rise again. Telehealth is completely safe and reliable so there is no reason to doubt a digital diagnosis. Remember as well, if your doctor doesn’t offer telehealth and your child is sick, there are online clinics you could make appointments at. The bottom line is always what you feel, as a parent, is safest for your child.