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Parents: Continue well visits and routine vaccines for your child, even during a pandemic

Family Health
Aug 13, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has put many things on hold and caused major changes to our normal routines. This is especially true for families with school-aged children.

Many kids are remote learning through virtual classrooms at home. Extracurricular activities and organized sports are canceled or postponed. Dr. John Rowlett

But some things do need to stay routine. Annual wellness doctor’s visits and vaccines for children are still important even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We all have one concern, one interest and that’s the safest, healthiest life for our children,” says Dr. John Rowlett, St. Joseph’s/Candler Pediatric Hospitalists and Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. “Routine checkups and vaccines are safe and effective at preventing some potentially deadly diseases.”

LIST: Vaccination recommendations from birth to 18 years old

Pediatricians recommend an annual checkup. During this wellness visit, your healthcare provider will check your child’s development, overall health and discuss needed vaccines.

Vaccines are an important part of keeping your child healthy, especially if your child is under 2-years-old. Dr. Rowlett – like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – strongly encourage routine vaccines.

Take for example the measles. Unvaccinated young children are at highest risk of measles and its complications, including death.

“Measles is one of the most contagious diseases on the planet,” Dr. Rowlett says. “If you are exposed to measles droplets, and you haven’t had the measles before and haven’t been vaccinated, there’s a 90 percent chance you’re going to get measles.”

And what parent wants to deal with that in the middle of a pandemic for another highly contagious disease?

Speaking of COVID-19, it’s understandable to be concerned about taking your child places during this time, but your doctor’s office is a safe exception. Mask requirements are in place and social distancing measures are being followed as well as the practice of other CDC guidelines.

Be sure to call your specific doctor’s office for all safety precautions they are taking. Some may offer virtual doctor’s visits, while others may provide other options.  All are doing what they can to keep your child and your family as healthy and safe as possible.

VIDEO: St. Joseph’s/Candler Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine talks about the measles

Photo of Dr. John Rowlett taken by Paige Rowlett


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