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Telehealth or Doctor's Office if My Child is Sick?

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Telehealth or Doctor's Office if My Child is Sick?

May 18, 2020

There can be a lot of confusions surrounding Telehealth and when to visit the doctor's office. Whether to bring your child in or not depends on your child's health condition. Pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner talks about what parents should do if your child gets sick during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Episode Transcript

A lot of parents are asking, "What should I do if my child is sick during COVID-19? Can I still see my child's doctor? What about well visits or if my child needs vaccines?"

There are a lot of questions about safety, risks and benefits of going and seeing the pediatrician in their office as opposed to a virtual or telehealth visit. So what are pediatricians recommending?

The American Academy of Pediatrics still encourages parents to bring their children in for routine well-child visits, especially those under the age of 30 months. It's critical that we make sure they're up to date on any immunizations to prevent breakouts of other diseases down the road. It's also very important that we monitor their growth and development during these ages. This is when we evaluate for developmental delays, especially autism, and the sooner a diagnosis is made, the sooner we can start evaluations and therapies that will help them. Many of us are also still seeing older children who are due for immunizations, especially those who need vaccines to register for kindergarten and junior high.

So that's for well visits. But what if your child is sick? That's where things get a little tricky. There's a lot we can do over a telehealth or video visit. We can look at rashes. We can evaluate cold symptoms, if your child has a stomach bug, pink eye, things like that. We can treat those just like regular in-person visits and prescribed medication if needed. There are limitations though where we have kids still come into the office. I can't tell over the phone if your child has an ear infection or a urinary tract infection for instance.

When you call for an appointment, your child's doctor will be able to help determine what kind of visit is best to take care of your child's needs. Rest assured that every one of us is going the extra mile to keep our kids safe, our staff safe, our offices clean, and help do whatever is needed to take care of our patients the best we can.