Don’t forget your well-check!

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Don’t forget your well-check!With all the canceled back-to-school rituals as a result of our new virtual education delivery, physicians are reminding parents that well-checks for children should not be among the losses of pandemic shake-ups.

“Many parents view their child’s well visit as a time when routine immunizations occur, but these appointments represent much more,” said Dr. Jennifer Prince, pediatric medical director at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital.

“As children grow, their bodies and minds are changing quickly. Assessing certain markers of growth can provide clues about a child’s overall health.”

Some of these data points include height, weight and head circumference, which help track healthy growth when children are young. Other screenings can detect anemia, lead exposure and tuberculosis.

“As children get older, pediatricians evaluate milestones to determine if a child is developing as they should,” said Dr. Prince.

“We talk to them about school, and as kids get older into their preteens, we talk to them about different risks and how they’re doing in school. Are they being exposed/ Do they know friends who are drinking alcohol? Do they know friends who might be worried about bullying? Do we have any concerns at all?

“We consider what we can do, as your pediatrician, to help you navigate these normal occurrences.”

In order to reduce the risk of infection to patients, RRH has adopted many new guidelines. Patients are spaced out so that waiting rooms are not overcrowded. Masking and social-distancing requirements are enforced.

“We don’t want to have kids who are sick exposing kids who are well. But it really is important that we still continue to do our well visits. We want to make sure we don’t miss anything, and we can’t do that unless we see your child,” said Dr. Prince.

The Centers for Disease Control have also offered tips on how parents can facilitate wellness during “Distance Learning.”

“Going back to school virtually may pose additional challenges with staying connected to peers,” stated a CDC spokesperson. “You may want to talk to school staff to learn more about what they are doing to support connection among students, interactive learning with feedback, building resilience and social-emotional well-being.”

CDC officials encouraged parents to be involved in school activities when possible, create and adhere to a schedule, make spaces for students that are free of distractions, and identify opportunities for students to engage in meaningful activities with their peers — either virtually, or when it can be safely done in person.

For more safety tips see www.cdc.gov.

To contact RRH about scheduling an appointment, call 760-499-3846 or 760-446-6404.

Pictured: Dr. Luigi Cendana examines Taite and Graiden Chandler during their annual well-check. — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2020-08-28