Pediatricians encourage families to still bring kids in for routine doctor’s visits

MADISON, Wis. — While it’s still important to limit your trips out of the house, doctors want to make sure parents know bringing your kid in for a visit is safe. And it’s important, especially during the pandemic.

“We’ve been getting a lot of calls from parents saying, ‘Am I supposed to be bringing my kid in? Should I wait?’ And we say, ‘Yes, bring your child in. We want to see them,'” said SSM Health pediatrician Dr. Sara Kreckman.

She said doctors want to see your child in person because of what they look for in those routine exams. One of the big pieces of the exam involves measuring a child’s growth.

“During this time, this pandemic time, our activity level and our eating habits have been markedly changed. And I can’t tell you how many families I’ve seen over the last couple of months where when I show them the growth chart, their 8 year old gained 30 lbs in the last six and a half months,” said Kreckman.

Dr. Kreckman said it’s important to identify those children early and come up with a plan for healthier habits. She said doctors are also seeing more mental health issues.

“We’re seeing more anxiety, depression, eating disorders and sleeping issues probably than ever before as a result of the social isolation that these kids are experiencing. It’s really hard,” said Kreckman.

She said many of those issues can be addressed through tele-health visits. She said children might even feel more comfortable talking to a doctor about those stressors from home.

Still Kreckman said some things just can’t be done virtually — such as immunizations. It’s important to keep up with those to make sure kids aren’t getting preventable diseases like measles.