Ask the Expert: Should I keep my child's well check visit during COVID-19?

Pediatrician John Sevening There’s growing concern over the number of children that may be missing out on vaccines during the pandemic, which could lead to other health illnesses. UnityPoint Clinic Pediatrics is taking a proactive approach and reaching out to patients who may have missed vaccines this spring and summer because of COVID-19.

“Anytime someone lapses or falls behind – that’s always a concern,” said John Sevening, MD, UnityPoint Clinic Pediatrics Hiawatha. “We are reaching out and reminding parents that so far, COVID-19 hasn’t been as pronounced in children and with the proper precautions we have in place, masks, face shields, handwashing, frequent cleaning and disinfecting, we can ensure the health and safety of our team members and patients. We are encouraging them to come in and see their healthcare provider right now.”

At UnityPoint Clinic Pediatrics, children coming in for routine health checks are kept in a separate area from children that are ill. Different entry points into the clinics are also utilized.

“Coronavirus is bad, but we don’t want to double down and allow vaccine preventable diseases to come raging back,” said Dr. Sevening. “When I first started practicing medicine, I saw the destruction caused from bacterial meningitis. I saw children that had brain damage and all kinds of impairments following an infection. We don’t want to see these diseases that are preventable, return.”
UnityPoint Clinic Pediatrics follows the American Academy of Pediatrics vaccine schedule. If children missed important vaccines over the last few months healthcare providers can catch them up. Summertime is also a good time for children to have a physical. 

“Most children have uneventful vaccines and check-ups,” shared Dr. Sevening. “In a certain percentage of children, we uncover an undiagnosed issue during these routine visits. Discovering issues early is always best and allows us to get the child help sooner rather than later.”

Children are not the only ones that need vaccines and annual physicals – adults need to stay on track as well. Seeing their healthcare provider is important to their overall health and wellness too.

“You don’t want disaster on top of disaster,” said Dr. Sevening. “Getting vaccines and scheduling physicals and other preventative screenings is important for everyone no matter their age.”

Request an appointment with a UnityPoint Clinic healthcare provider.

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