700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

5 Things to Know Before Taking Your Kids to the Doctor During COVID-19

Jul 16, 2020
Medical professional helping a child put on a mask

Many doctors’ offices were shut down at the height of COVID-19. Medical appointments are widely available in-person again, however. There are many options for getting the medical care your child needs in a safe way. Your child’s doctors, nurses and other health care providers are there to help you and your child feel comfortable and create a safe environment.

These tips can help parents make informed decisions along with your children’s medical provider about how and when to resume in-person care. There are also ways you can help prepare your child for a visit.

  1. Talk openly with your child’s provider.

    Calling or messaging the office before your visit might be useful. You could say: “What safety precautions do you have in place?” “What should I do to keep myself and my child safe during our visit?” or “Is a telehealth visit still an option for my child?”

    Remember that delaying medical care for your child isn’t a good idea. Instead, share your concerns with your provider.

  2. Be open with your child’s doctor and the nurses in the office if you are uncomfortable with their recommendations.

    You could say: “I’m uncomfortable with that,” “I don’t think that will work for my family,” or “Are there other options for my child?”

  3. Plan ahead! Ask the office ahead of time who may attend the visit.

    Visitor guidelines are in place at many medical facilities. Siblings may not be able to attend, so make sure to schedule your appointment at a time when you have childcare. Have a back-up plan in case your first plan falls through.

    Remember that you can still travel to the doctor’s office or hospital with another adult, but they may need to wait in the car.

  4. Bring a mask. You and your child over the age of 2 will be required to wear a mask at the doctor’s office or hospital. You may also be given a mask to wear.

  5. Talk to your child ahead of time about how this visit might be similar and different than previous visits.

Talk to your child in detail about what they may see. It can help to look at pictures together of what health care workers look like in the gowns, gloves, masks and face shields they may be wearing.

Older children may like to hear what the process will look like, and how the health care providers are taking precautions to keep everyone safe. For instance, “When we go into the hospital, someone will give us masks to wear. We have to keep them on the whole time. When we go into the clinic, they will take us right back to a room instead of keeping us in the waiting room with other people. You will still see the same doctor you are used to seeing, but he or she may stand further away during the visit.”

COVID-19 Safety and Wellness Resources for You and Your Child
For more information, click here.

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700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.