Raising kids during the pandemic has been full of challenges. Spending more time at home, juggling home responsibilities, virtual learning, not being able to settle into routine — if any of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Taking your kids for their regular check-ups — especially if they are healthy — might not be at the top of your to-do list. Well-visits and shots help kids fend off common illnesses and can strengthen their immune systems overall, so it’s a good idea to stay on schedule. Now is a great time to check in with your child’s doctor to see if they are due for any shots.
Here are some answers to common questions about child vaccines and well-visits during COVID-19.
Should my child still get their vaccines or can we wait and catch up?
Your child should still get all their vaccines on schedule. Skipping vaccines could put them at risk for diseases that vaccines can prevent, such as whooping cough and the measles. Those who aren’t protected by vaccines are more likely to get sick.
Will my child get COVID-19 if I take them to the doctor’s office?
Many parents are concerned about visiting the doctor’s office right now. Doctors have taken steps to make sure it’s safe to bring your child in for appointments. Some steps may include:
- Checking temperatures and screening for COVID-19 when patients arrive.
- Requiring visitors and staff to wear masks.
- Cleaning and sanitizing exam rooms and offices.
- Practicing safe social distancing.
If you’d like to talk with your child’s doctor about safety measures, here’s how you could start the conversation.
Should healthy kids still go for checkups?
Kids should continue to go for in-person checkups, even if they are healthy. During a checkup, healthy children will receive vaccines to prevent infectious diseases. Even healthy children can be admitted to the hospital for a vaccine-preventable disease. Vaccines can protect your child and keep them healthy.
What should I do if I still have questions or concerns about safely getting my kids their shots?
If you have concerns about your healthy child getting vaccinated in the doctor’s office, talk to their doctor. During the pandemic, some doctors are giving vaccines to children while they stay in the car. Others are scheduling kids-only hours or providing a separate entrance or area for well-child visits. Call your child’s doctor and ask about your options for a safe visit.
For more information on well check-ups and immunizations, visit healthychildren.org from the American Academy of Pediatrics.