Some Important Updates
School closings, containment zones and quarantines are ramping up Coronavirus anxiety amongst all of us, from the youngest, who respond to our stress, to the elderly, who are most affected, to those of us in the middle, who feel responsible for the whole family.
Our Topeka Pediatrics team is here for you, not only for medical care but as a source of reliable and sane information. We suggest you look at COVID-19 information from two perspectives.
1) Personal Safety: the vast majority of people infected by COVID-19 will have mild illness, especially children and may seem like they just have a regular cold and mild fever.
2) Community responsibility: the CDC and Health Department are trying to limit spread, or at least slow it down. Self-quarantine, containment areas and social distancing are being implemented for these purposes.
The best way to stay healthy is by practicing good hand washing, remembering not to touch your face, and staying away from others. Take advantage of the nicer weather and go outside. If you or any one in your family is sick, stay home. When needed, cough into your elbow.
Your Topeka Pediatrics team will help you through this crisis, as we have so many times in the past. We were on the front line of H1N1 infection - we made it through that, and together, we will make it through this.
We are your patient centered medical home. If your child is sick, please call us. We know you, your history, and your family. We are screening patients carefully and doing what is needed to keep our families safe. When we have testing widely available we will be able to test but right now testing is reserved for only the seriously ill. The good news is that kids have almost universally been spared from this disease but older adults with chronic health conditions like heart disease or diabetes and smoking seem to have the biggest risk. We do not want this coronavirus to spread to those people. This virus is spread by droplets and being in close contact within 3-6 feet of people. If you have been infected with Coronavirus you could possibly be contagious and or not show symptoms for 14 days so you could unknowingly spread this disease to people who could get very ill.
It is recommended to keep your scheduled well care appointments. We are still seeing all of our previously scheduled appointments. Kids still need to get physicals and the vaccines that protect them from preventable illnesses much more serious than Coronavirus for most of them. We have implemented procedures to keep you safe. We are small so it is easy to keep the waiting room empty and have everyone check in from their cars. If you need just a shot, our nurses are coming to your car to give those. We are separating well and sick visits. We are following appropriate CDC recommendations. We are cleaning intensely and often.
We have also implemented telemedicine here in the office and most insurances are paying for it, some even without copays. These visits are designed for looking at rashes, checking for dehydration, watching breathing, looking at a throat, eyes and to see if a child needs further hands on evaluation during this outbreak. Unfortunately, we can’t tell if you have strep, flu, ear infection or have pneumonia without examining your kiddo in person. Most insurance companies will allow us to also use telemedicine for medicine checks for anxiety, depression, or ADHD.
What else can you do? Shut off the TV and give yourself and your children a break. When possible, keep their schedules normal. Look for anxiety symptoms - such as moodiness, trouble sleeping and separation anxiety. Talk to your children about their fears. Reassure them.
Check on your elderly neighbors, family and friends. These people are most at risk for complications of Coronavirus. Ask if you can get them food, medicine or anything else they need. We are a community, we need to take care of each other.
As always, our Topeka Pediatrics team will keep you updated on the latest information, we are here for you and feel privileged to care for the health of your family. Please call us if you are struggling or need any other resources for your family.
Dr. Cain, Kim, Belinda, Brenna, Margaret, Shawness, and Vanesa
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For more information about the Coronavirus or COVID-19, please visit here.
For information on our new Telemedicine services, please visit here.