January 2021 – After the NICU

Jenny R. McCormick, Senior Editor of PreemieWorld

As Covid numbers continue to rise, many parents are concerned about safety and what doctor’s appointments will look like. Here are some tips for visiting the doctor during the Coronavirus pandemic:

  • Ask your pediatrician’s office about safety precautions. Doctors’ offices and hospitals are taking precautions to keep patients and patient families healthy. If you are unaware of the steps your provider is taking, call ahead of your appointment to for peace of mind.
  • What to ask the pediatrician/specialist office?
    Is your medical staff wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE)?
    Are all patients and visitors required to wear face masks when inside the health care facility?
    Are you screening all staff, patients and visitors prior to entering the building?
    How many guests are allowed with each patient?
    Have you rearranged the waiting rooms to allow for social distancing?
    What steps are you taking to sanitize the environment regularly?
  • See your doctor virtually when available. While health care providers are taking precautions to ensure in-person visits are safe, there may be times when your child’s medical needs can be addressed virtually. Check to see if your provider is offering telemedicine services. You can often see a provider virtually for common health concerns such as allergies, minor cuts, rashes, etc.
  • Wear a mask and clean your hands. Some of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are simple ones. Make sure you and your child (ages 2 years and older) wear a face mask to your appointment and that you clean your hands frequently. If you have a young child, see this link for helpful ideas for mask wearing: https://www.childrens.com/health-wellness/7-tips-to-help-your-child-wear-a-face-mask
  • Ensure your child’s mask fits correctly and comfortably. Making sure your child’s mask fits correctly and comfortably will help prevent them from fidgeting with it. A cloth face covering should fit over your child’s nose and mouth and be secured under their chin. Avoid any gaps on the sides by adjusting the mask’s fit so it is snug.
  • Keep others far away from your medically fragile baby. Hang a sign on your baby’s stroller that states, “NO TOUCHING!” Don’t have one? See PreemieWorld’s latest freebie! Now available in Spanish.
  • Model healthy behavior. Wear your own mask! One of the best ways to encourage your child to wear a face mask is to wear one yourself. While wearing a mask can be an adjustment, try to use positive language and reinforce why wearing a face mask is helpful for your family and for others in the community. Focusing on the things you can control and thinking positively can go a long way in reducing anxiety about COVID-19.

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