Missed well visits expose children to communicable diseases
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|A report from Georgetown University Health Policy Institute suggests that catching up on doctor visits and missed vaccinations is an effective method of protecting families and communities before returning to school.|
RALEIGH – Parents should catch up with their children on missed doctor visits and, in some cases, vaccinations, to protect themselves and their communities before they return to school, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.
Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that orders for all non-flu shots for children had declined by about 11 million doses, a direct result of the decline in pediatric visits.
Elizabeth Hudgins, executive director of the North Carolina Pediatric Society, said it could put more children at risk for communicable diseases such as measles.
“Vaccines are absolutely important for children of all ages,” said Hudgins. “And they’re a great way to keep kids safe, in and out of school.”
The report showed that provider office visits fell 58% for all age groups in March of last year, and visits for toddlers fell 75%, the largest drop for all age groups. Some parents do not have their children vaccinated for religious reasons, while others are concerned about the potential health risks of some vaccines, although these are extremely rare.
Dr. Lee Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, explained that well visits can put a child on the right track to staying healthy and safe.
“The pediatrician will make sure you are up to date with your vaccines, but will also check your child’s growth and development and mental health, and make sure chronic conditions are taken care of,” Beers said. “So there are many, many reasons to come back to your pediatrician now. “
According to the North Carolina area health education centers, some pediatricians have allowed visits from healthy siblings, so parents only have to come to the office once at the instead of two or more, and have implemented more consistent schedules for telehealth visits and in-person follow-up. -at the top.