Irondequoit Pediatrics Updates and Advice

 

IRONDEQUOIT PEDIATRICS UPDATES

Now more than ever, we are here for you to answer questions and, remain open 7 days a week to protect the health of your family.  Please see the following updates below. 

While we still remain available 24/7, we have temporarily changed our hours to 9 to 5 Monday through Friday.  Walk in, evening, and weekend hours are no longer available during this time, although doctors will be on call and able to do telemedicine visits when necessary during evenings and weekends. We are always available 24 hours per day for phone advice.

NEW INFORMATION IS COMING OUT, BUT FOR NOW WE ARE RECOMMENDING THAT YOU DO NOT GIVE YOUR CHILD IBUPROFEN (Motrin, Advil).  WHILE THESE MEDICATIONS ARE NOT HARMFUL, THEY MAY BE ASSOCIATED WITH INCREASED SEVERITY OF ILLNESS WITH CORONAVIRUS.  PLEASE GIVE ACETAMINOPHEN INSTEAD FOR FEVER OR ACHES AND PAINS, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Here are updates to how things are being done at the practice.  This is an evolving situation, and we will continue to keep you posted with any changes.

TELEMEDICINE VISITS:

In an effort to keep everyone safe, we are scheduling all office visits as telemedicine visits.  We will continue to see all types of office visits through telemedicine.  This includes sick, well, mental health, and all other types of visits.  

Prior to the telemedicine visit, we ask that you:

  • weigh and take the temperature of your child.
  • make sure you have access to the patient portal (patients 13+ will have their own portal account).  Call the office if you have trouble accessing the portal, or need help establishing an account.  The portal is important because it not only allows you to have contact with your doctor, but the doctor will send you information about your visit at the conclusion of the visit.
  • Well visits: You will be sent pre-visit screening questionnaires that allow us to make a thorough evaluation of your child’s development. (bright futures, MCHAT, and mental health screens).  Please make sure they are completed prior to your scheduled visit.
  • Mental health visits: Please make sure pre-visit screening forms are completed prior to the visit .  (these will be sent through the portal).

 

PHONE VISITS:

If telemedicine visit is not appropriate, or you prefer a regular phone call from the doctor, we will schedule a phone call visit.  This allows all patients and parents to be called in a timely manner

 

IN PERSON VISITS:

If the doctor decides that you need to be seen, we will either arrange for you to be seen in our office, or in your car in the parking lot.

If your child is due for vaccinations, we are setting aside times for these to be done safely in the office.  These appointment times will be during times that sick patients are not being seen.

If we feel that your child is at risk for coronavirus and needs to be seen, you may be referred to a coronavirus specialized urgent care center.

 

I THINK MY CHILD OR CAREGIVER HAS BEEN EXPOSED TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19):

As of now, we have been advised by the Monroe County Health Department that all of the people associated with Arcadia, or other known coronavirus exposures,  who needed immediate testing and quarantine will been directly contacted by the health department.  If you are not contacted by the health department, kids and adults, do not need to formally quarantine.  Those people are directed to monitor for symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath. 

If you think that you or your child is exposed and is feeling well, nothing needs to be done.  The child does not qualify for testing for COVID-19.   Please do not bring your child to the office, Urgent Care, or the Emergency Department since he/she will not be tested and does not need medical care.

If your child develops fever, cough, or a mild sense of shortness of breath (regardless of exposure) please keep the child home and call Irondequoit Pediatrics during business hours.  We will decide with you if your child can be cared for at home or if he/she needs a video visit and/or testing.

Per current recommendations, most children (even if they have symptoms) should not be tested for COVID-19.  Priority for testing will be given to children with significant medical problems, compromised immune systems, or those who have had contact with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case or travel to a high-risk area in the past 14 days.

As always, if your child has severe symptoms, including significant difficulty breathing, inability to keep down fluids, or if you have any urgent concerns, please call our office at any time.

UR Medicine has established a COVID-19 support line (888-928-0011) and encourages any person with concerns about coronavirus to call.

 

REGARDING SCHOOL CLOSURES:  Should I allow my child to play with other children, go to parties, or play outside?

We are frequently reviewing recommendations being made by national, state and local public health authorities.  Currently, we are recommending that children and families stay home as much as possible

Schools are closed, of course, and large gatherings have already been banned by public health officials.  Most places where people gather, including recreation facilities and restaurants have closed or will close soon.  The purpose of these closures is not to promote fear, but to decrease the speed with which COVID-19 spreads within our community and to decrease the total number of people who become infected. 

Certainly, there will be errands that need to be run, and many families will not have the option to have all their shopping delivered or to do these tasks without children in tow.  If you need to bring your children on essential errands, we encourage you to wash their hands (and yours) often when you are out as well as immediately upon return home.  Try to maintain as much space between your children and other shoppers as possible.

As for recreational activities, families need to weigh the benefits of activities such as eating out at restaurants and having playdates and small parties, against the possible harms of exposure to increasing numbers people.  While you consider protecting your family, please also remember to care for your vulnerable neighbors and family members outside of your home.  We advise against play dates and parties.

Please encourage your children to play outdoors as much as possible during this time.  Not only will the fresh air, exercise, and time away from screens benefit them physically and emotionally, but their risk of infection when playing outside with others is generally low.  Exercise and exposure to the outdoors also boosts immunity.  Take walks as a family, ride bikes, or go on hikes.  Enjoy this enforced down time.

As you weigh activity options, keep in mind that your risk of getting COVID-19 is still low, and that most children and healthy younger adults who get infected with COVID-19 have very mild symptoms and recover quickly.  The largest risk of infection from COVID-19 comes from close contact with an infected person (for example face-to-face contact in which you are exposed to a cough or sneeze).  Being in the same room with an infected person is fairly low risk, especially if you are more than 6 feet away.  COVID-19 can remain infectious on surfaces for some time, but cleaning hands frequently (especially after touching high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, elevator buttons, and TV remotes) and avoiding touching your face, decreases your risk of becoming infected in this way. 

 

EMOTIONAL WELL BEING:  We realize that now more than ever, our children may experience stress and anxiety.  We have resources to help.  We have also added extra mental health telemedicine visits with our psychologist.  Please call the office if you have any concerns or feel you need an appointment for either you or your child.

We will continue to share resources about things to do with your children during social distancing, and how to stay mentally healthy during this difficult time.

 

OTHER RESOURCES: We understand that with schools closed, families may find difficulties obtaining food and other resources.  Stay tuned for an updated list of resources.

 

HELPFUL LINKS:

IF YOU ARE SICK:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF:   https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html

MONROE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT CORONAVIRUS WEBSITE: https://www2.monroecounty.gov/health-coronavirus

American Academy of Pediatrics: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.aspx