Protect your child’s health: Don’t delay well-child visits

(BPT) - Over the past several months, families have been helping stop the spread of COVID-19 and keeping their loved ones safe by staying home as much as possible. As communities across the country begin to reopen, you can help your child stay healthy by keeping any scheduled appointments for well-child visits and rescheduling appointments that may have been missed.

At these essential appointments, you have an opportunity to:

  • Track your child’s growth and developmental milestones
  • Discuss any concerns about your child’s health
  • Get your child vaccinated to protect them from 14 serious diseases

In recent years, some of these diseases — particularly measles and whooping cough — have caused outbreaks. These contagious illnesses can pose serious risks and complications for infants and young children. For this reason, CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that every child continue to receive routine vaccinations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Here are some answers to questions you may have about well-visits during this time:

Can I take my child to the doctor safely?

Talk to your child’s doctor to see what measures they have in place during the COVID-19 outbreak. Offices and clinics across the country are taking proactive, protective measures to help you and your child stay safe during your visit. These steps may include scheduling sick visits and well-child visits at different times and in different locations, and reducing crowds in waiting rooms by asking patients to wait outside until called.

Which vaccines does my child need?

Check out CDC’s easy-to-read childhood immunization schedule to see the vaccines recommended for each age and the diseases they prevent.

What if I can’t pay for my child’s vaccines?

The Vaccines for Children program provides free vaccines for children who are Medicaid-eligible, uninsured, underinsured, or American Indian/Alaska Native. If you need help paying for vaccines, ask your child’s doctor for more information about the program.

During these challenging times, remember that you have the power to keep your child healthy by seeing their doctor and getting routine vaccines.