Dr. Ellen Stevenson, professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health and Science University, said there have been cases where parents have waited for skin infections to deteriorate to the point where children needed oral antibiotics instead of soaking and antibiotic ointment.
“Covid took in all of the air in the rooms, but we need to remember that there are still other diseases,” said Dr. Sally Goza, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a primary care pediatrician in Fayetteville Ga. As the pandemic progressed, she took care of a child who had recurrent fever and leukemia and diagnosed acute appendicitis over the phone. “There was chronic constipation, but the abdominal pain was a little different,” she said. “Fortunately it didn’t burst.”
“If the recommendation is that you must go in, you should go in. Hospitals are some of the safest places in many ways, we’re so careful, ”said Dr. Costello.
Children with Chronic Illnesses
Children with asthma, diabetes, sickle cell disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and other problems that require regular check-ins and preventive medication should receive their treatment “to make sure your chronic conditions are getting the best possible treatment,” said Dr. Beers. Some of this can be done remotely. Make sure these kids have their recipes adjusted and up to date and that the parents know exactly what to monitor.
The life of small children has been disrupted since last spring. They may not have been in the company of other children, leaving parents unable to make comparisons that sometimes raise developmental issues.
For many children for whom there were already questions, the pandemic disrupted the often tedious process of assessment and diagnosis. This means months go by without children receiving assessment, therapy, and special help in the first few years when that help may be most important.
Dr. Stevenson worries when “I see someone who had a development problem who was referred before the pandemic and is still waiting”. Some children receive virtual early intervention services, but others receive no help.