Remember when your biggest worry about taking your kids to the doctor was whether or not they’d throw a fit over getting a lollipop flavor they didn’t like? Well, it’s a little different now…but it’s still important to take care of your family’s health, including checkups and vaccinations. The good news is hospitals and doctor’s offices like Stanford Children’s Health have resumed care and put measures in place so you and your family can stay healthy.

Experts advise that sticking to your child’s health is of the utmost importance. Read on to see how the experts at Stanford Children’s Health suggest you continue your child’s care.

Regular Wellness Visits Are Still a Must

Regular, scheduled health checkups are vital in maintaining the health of your child; and for children with chronic conditions, it’s crucial to keep these appointments to avoid complications. At your child’s regular checkups, your doctor will check their growth, ensure their development is on track and answer any questions that you might have. Keeping your regularly scheduled checkup gives you a chance to ask about your child’s health, and helps your family’s doctor identify and address concerns early on.

While some visits may still need to be in-person, Stanford Children’s Health also offers telehealth appointments, allowing a doctor to evaluate your child’s condition without bringing them into the office. You’ll need to check with your doctor first, but development assessments, skin conditions, allergic reactions and injuries can sometimes be diagnosed through virtual visits.

Telehealth visits require a screen, such as a laptop, tablet or phone, and are scheduled appointment times, just like your regular in-person visits.

Maintaining Your Child’s Vaccine Schedule Helps Keep Preventable Diseases from Emerging

While telehealth is an option, there are some appointments that need to be done in the office to administer vaccinations and other care.

Yvonne Maldonado, MD, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Stanford Children’s Health/Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford explained on NPR’s Here & Now: “With flu and respiratory virus seasons coming, we do not want to see more children getting sick with other organisms in addition to COVID-19.”

And on the importance of sticking to vaccination schedules: “Vaccine schedules are done this way for a reason. We are vaccinating children at the ages when they are most susceptible to these diseases, so if we wait, these children may actually wind up getting infected at a time when they are most vulnerable if they haven’t received the vaccine.”

Keeping Vaccinations on Schedule Is Vital Not Just for Your Child’s Health, but All Children

If families put off vaccinations, it weakens immunity for all, Dr. Maldonado explains:

“These are all critical vaccines. For example, without vaccination, measles can cause severe disease, particularly in young children… It is a highly transmissible virus, so you need to keep the vaccination levels—the herd immunity—between 90 and 95 percent to really prevent outbreaks from happening.”

Safety Is Stanford Children’s Health’s Top Priority

Grace Lee, MD, associate chief medical officer for practice innovation and a pediatric infectious diseases physician, discussed in a recent Stanford Children’s Health podcast the latest safety protocols that the hospital and its clinics have in place so that kids can get the care they need now.

Stanford Children’s Health clinics are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, which include increasing cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, requiring masking for adults and children two and up, restricting visitor policies, and placing visible reminders about social distancing protocols.

Stanford Children’s Health is working hard to keep its offices safe for families to maintain their care. Make your child’s appointment today and keep them happy and healthy!

–Jamie Aderski