Parents should prepare kids to see PPE and extra screenings at next doctor’s appointment

MADISON, Wis. — As Dane County enter Phase Two of its reopening plan, that means getting back to a version of your normal routine, including doctor’s visits.

Extra screenings, masks, gloves, and gowns look like necessary precautions to adults. But for kids, seeing people, including their pediatrician, in full PPE might be a little scary.

SSM Health Family Medicine physician Dr. Laura Mendyk said as hospitals start to resume their normal appointments after originally encouraging patients to stay safer at home, parents should talk to their kids about what to expect.

She said some SSM Health clinics will have screeners in the parking lot asking drivers questions. They will be in a mask, face shield and probably a gown.

“A kid will experience someone coming up to their car first that looks maybe a little bit like they’re out of a space shuttle or something,” said Mendyk. “Fortunately there’s enough images on television right now that you can grab a snapshot, I don’t necessarily encourage kids watching all the COVID information, but we can share those images of what children will see.”

Once patients get inside, anyone over 2 years old will have their temperature taken and will be asked questions about any symptoms they might have. And doctors and nurses will all be in PPE.

Mendyk also recommends patients arrive 10-15 minutes early to leave room for extra screenings and avoid added stress.