Pediatric Healthcare During the COVID 19 Pandemic

Pediatric Healthcare During the COVID 19 Pandemic

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Experts are learning more every day about the novel coronavirus.  There are two issues to be aware of that impact parents and children in particular. While it was once thought that children were either not affected or only experienced mild illness, some are experiencing  Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome.  Additionally, a drop in the vaccination rate for children has been noted. Here is some of the information currently available from the experts. 

Maintain Regular Well-Child Healthcare: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends:
  • Check with your healthcare provider to find out the precautions they are taking to prevent the spread of COVID 19 while maintaining your child’s health. Pediatricians will follow safe practices to keep patients well such as different scheduling days/times for well visits, distancing measures, sanitizing treatment rooms.
  • While video visits work well for many concerns, well child exams, labs and vaccinations need to be done in person.
  • Timely administration of recommended vaccinations- Skipping vaccinations could increase outbreaks of highly contagious measles, whooping cough and meningitis which can cause serious illness.
Parents Should Be Aware: Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome
  • Believed to be linked to the novel coronavirus
  • Children tested positive for the antibodies for COVID 19 but did not show any of the usual symptoms
  • It appears to be a hyper reactive immune response to the virus
  • Call your MD if you have any concerns regarding these symptoms
  • Most children recover with supportive care
  • It is still considered rare but can cause inflammation in the heart and organs
         Symptoms include:
  • Prolonged fever
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Rash
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
This illness is very severe but rare.  New York Health Commissioner and pediatric cardiologist Dr. Howard Zucker said, "I would tell parents that if your child has any nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pallor - the color of their face changing, the color of their lips and fingers - if they have any chest pains... they should call their doctor and they need to be evaluated," Zucker said.

Willows Pediatric Group in Westport, CT offers more advice to parents about Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome.

The CDC is expected to provide a statement about Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome soon.  Watch the website for updates.

Author

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Deborah Ringen

Deborah Ringen is Transitional Minister of Health and Wellness for the Southern New England Conference, UCC.

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