Important COVID-19 Updates and Protocols for Frederick County Pediatrics
We are not able to offer testing at our office at this time.
Testing Site Information
SEROLOGY/ ANTIBODY TESTING
Serology / Antibody- This is a blood test that is currently NOT recommended for the general pediatric population.
Serology testing could determine if a person was exposed to COVID-19 and developed an immune response. However, it will not determine if that presence of antibodies provides “protection” or future immunity, nor how long immunity may last if at all.
Further, there may be a false-positive test depending on the reliability of the test. There have been reports that some tests include antibodies for all COVID strains, including the common cold. Tests may not target COVID-19 antibodies.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Children’s National Hospital, and Frederick County Health Department do not recommend serology testing, therefore, we will not consent to order tests at this time.
Is it OK to see my pediatrician during COVID-19?
Answer (From Healthchildren.org)
Yes! Your pediatrician’s office is open and taking extra steps to make sure you and your children are safe when you come in.
Now more than ever, it’s very important that families stay connected to their pediatrician and their medical home. Your pediatrician cares about the health of your baby, child or teen and is happy to talk to you about anything from medicines and illnesses to injuries and behavior issues.
In the office
- Newborn visits after a baby is born.
- To stay up-to-date on immunizations.
- For hearing and vision screenings.
- To monitor growth, blood pressure, and other vital signs.
- To check labs such as for anemia.
- To check on developmental milestones.
- To treat infections or injuries.
- Adolescent health concerns, such as menstrual care and depression screening.
Pediatricians are taking steps to make sure it’s as safe as possible for visits that need to happen in person. Some offices have separated “sick” and “well” areas of their clinic or are having newborns come in early in the day before any other patients. Calling ahead is important so your pediatrician can advise you on the best way to come in.
For other kinds of appointments, many pediatricians are now offering video visits. Call your pediatrician’s office to see if this is available for your child or teen.
What to do if your child gets sick
If your child has been exposed to COVID-19, or you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, call your pediatrician immediately.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell how sick your child is. Luckily, a trip to the hospital is usually not needed for a simple cold or cough, mild diarrhea, constipation, temper tantrums, or sleep problems. Call your pediatrician for any concerns you may have about your child’s health.
Returning to School, Daycare and Work
As daycares reopen with fewer spaces, and as schools debate plans for fall, families are faced to decide both if they are comfortable with their children attending daycare and how to handle sicknesses that could occur in that setting.
The CDC has a decision tool to help parents determine safety and protocols for their children. These criteria must be satisfied as a baseline. Your confidence level and unique situation must be evaluated on a case by case basis.
As our community moves through phases of recovery, our overall comfort level will improve. Some circumstances will prove complicated, such as health history, family makeup and travel requirements.
Additionally, other common childhood illnesses will return. Parents will need a “Plan B” for sick day matters. Most illnesses are viruses which can overlap with symptoms and severity. Daycares and families will want to know, “Is it COVID-19”? Testing availability, turn around time and variations in symptoms make this challenging.
Returning to school or daycare after an illness, similarly, will be complicated and will call for a conservative approach following current advice.
Please be aware we cannot make blanket recommendations, nor will we be able to write extended school or work excuses. We highly encourage parents to discuss with your employer and/or your child’s school their expectations for work attendance.
We appreciate how frustrating this current situation is. We empathize with parents as they make their own decisions that are not easy to make.
In-Office Appointment Requirements
1. ALL patients are still being triaged by our nurses. We will be calling parents before well visits to “pre-screen” and ensure those coming into our office are well. Our office is now separated with well and sick sides. All families arriving for appointments are asked to wait in their car, text when they arrive and wait for a nurse to escort them in.
2. We are still asking families to limit appointments to the patient and one parent, no siblings. The parent that brings the child to the appointment does need to wear a face-covering or face mask.
- Children under the age of 2 YEARS is not required to wear a face mask/covering per the CDC.
- We highly encourage children ages 5 years and older to wear a face mask/covering into our office.
- We REQUIRE children 9 years and older to wear a face mask/covering into our office.
3. If you work in healthcare or have a high-risk job that could potentially expose you to COVID-19, please disclose this to us when making an in-office appointment.