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Dr. Irene answers Q: My child’s annual checkup was canceled during lockdown and I’ve been hesitant to reschedule it. Is it safe to go back to the pediatrician?

Many people postponed doctor appointments due to COVID-19, and that includes pediatric appointments. If your child’s well-keiki visit was canceled during lockdown, or if you’ve been avoiding taking your child for a checkup because you were worried about coronavirus risk, it’s now time to reschedule.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has strongly supported the continued provision of health care for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Young children may have missed their scheduled in-person well-child check during the pandemic, but it is important that they get back on track with their health care needs.

The CDC has warned of a drop in childhood vaccinations during the pandemic, due to pediatric appointments being canceled. Concern exists that delays in vaccinations may result in secondary outbreaks with vaccine-preventable illnesses, like measles and pertussis.

In addition to recommended immunizations, don’t forget about other reasons why your child should visit the pediatrician’s office, such as newborn well checks after having a baby, adolescent health concerns such as menstrual care and depression management, sports physical before returning to sports (athletes who have had COVID-19 need clearance by a pediatrician before returning to sports), hearing and vision screening, early diagnosis of developmental delays, infections and treatment of injuries. Keeping your child visits current decreases the chance for later admissions to the hospital.

Outpatient newborn care should not be compromised due to COVID-19, and newborn visits should optimally take place in person. If the mother is positive for SARS-CoV-2, and the infant is negative, a nonsymptomatic alternate caregiver (if available) should accompany the infant to their visit.

Doctors’ offices and medical facilities should all have protocols in place to protect you and your child, just as CHAMPS Pediatrics in Kihei has in place. At CHAMPS Pediatrics, an online check-in protocol is in place, all staff wear masks and are screened before work, and patients and visitors are screened for temperature and symptoms as well. And of course, there are many things you can do to keep yourself protected — wear your mask and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before entering the office, while you are there (after touching shared surfaces and objects like pens) and after your appointment.

It’s understandable that parents are concerned about COVID-19 and want to avoid any potential exposure, but remember that there are also health risks to skipping regular vaccines and doctor appointments, especially for kids. Most children will also need to be current on vaccines to return to school in the fall, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead, schedule a COVID-19 vaccine for your children that qualify and get caught up on well-visits and vaccinations now.


Source: https://www.mauinews.com/opinion/columns/2021/06/healthwise-maui-85/


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Testimonials

Happy Parents

    "I can’t express how grateful I am, as a mother of two young children, to have found such a wonderful pediatrician. Dr. Irene is knowledgeable, accessible, and above all, great with kids! Even though my girls have had to be poked and prodded on occasion, they still love Dr. Irene so much that they get excited to see her again - and that’s saying a lot. If you are looking for a pediatrician who you can trust with your children’s health, who can answer your questions, who gets back to you quickly, and who herself is an amazing mother, then you’ve found her! I’m so glad we have. ❤️"

    K.F. 2020 via Google reviews

    We love Dr. Irene with CHAMPS Pediatrics! My two daughters have been seeing her since 2018 and we trust her completely. She's extremely warm, understanding and takes her time to explain and answer any questions that you may have as parents. She is extremely fast with the text replies through the online portal (klara) as well, which is great for those forgotten questions in between visits. Dr. Irene is super sweet and efficient and truly cares about your experience and the welfare of your children. HIGHLY recommended!

    J.P 2020 via Google reviews

    "Dr. Irene is the most caring, gentle, genuine Pediatrician. She is so kind and loving with my boys. She makes them feel so comfortable and they are even excited when we have an appt! She was so quick to respond on the Klara App to communicate with me even during a holiday weekend and answer my questions about my son. She takes time to go over everything and answer all my questions and concerns, every time we've met with her. I've never felt rushed. I highly recommend her! She's been so great caring for my family. I feel so blessed to have been referred to her!! Thank you Dr. Irene, for caring for my kids!"

    Tammy M. via Yelp

    "Dr. Irene is amazing! She really listens to you and your concerns, and takes the time to address them. She is so gentle and kind with my kids! She has definitely exceeded our expectations! I’m positive that my kids are having the best care on island. We love her and we are so happy that she joined our Maui community!"  via Google reviews

    Sueshine R.

    "Dr. Irene is amazing. She is caring, gentle, truly listens and graciously worked with us and our children to provide the best medical care. Highly recommend!!!"  

    B.H.