Taking Care of the Kids — What to Expect at Your Next Visit to the Pediatrician


Many new processes and policies are in place to protect the health and safety of all patients during the pandemic. It is important that children receive their routine well visits and vaccines, as well as get medical care if they are sick or injured. Christopher Cooper, MD, chair of pediatrics at Emerson and a practicing pediatrician at Acton Medical Associates, shares some changes that children and parents can expect when they visit the pediatrician:

  • Lots of PPE (personal protective equipment) – Most everyone at the pediatrician’s office will be wearing a mask to help prevent germs from spreading. Some pediatricians will be wearing photos of themselves so you can see who they are under their mask. You will also notice staff wearing gloves and other PPE. This is all to keep you safe.
  • Children are asked to wear masks as much as possible during the exam. When you make the appointment, you can ask what the office policy is for children wearing masks so you can prepare your child before the visit.
  • A parent or guardian can usually be with their child during the exam. Many practices allow one adult to be with the child during the exam. You can ask what the policy is when you make the appointment.
  • Offices are doing everything possible to keep patients who are there for well visits separate from patients who are sick or have respiratory issues. This may mean that well visits are scheduled in the morning, use separate waiting areas, and/or that patients with respiratory issues wait in cars before they are seen.
  • Well visits are continuing as usual, as are vaccines. It is essential that children’s regular vaccine schedules are maintained to remove the possibility of getting any diseases that vaccines can prevent, like whooping cough and measles.
  • Telehealth visits may be appropriate for children who are sick or injured. When you call the office to make an appointment, staff will ask you questions and determine if a telehealth visit can be done. Most telehealth visits are covered by insurance.
  • Newborns are still being seen by a pediatrician usually within the first few days after birth.
Visits to the pediatrician are very similar now as they were before the pandemic, although with more PPE, including masks. This is to keep you, your family, the pediatrician and office staff safe. With some understanding and patience, children will adapt to these new practices.

There is no need to worry about your child’s health alone. Call your pediatrician’s office 24x7 with any questions or concerns. They are happy to help you and your family. This is why they became a pediatrician!