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Lexington doctor encourages wellness check-ups for kids as those numbers decrease during the pandemic

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 9:27 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Many of our normal routines have been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vacations have been rescheduled, adults are working from home, and for a lot of kids, the first day of school is still up in the air.

But, there is one regular appointment that health experts say parents need to keep on their schedules, wellness check-ups for their kids.

"Whether it's that newborn getting their newborn check, it's a two-year-old or if it's that four-year-old getting their immunizations, all throughout, even that middle schooler," Dr. Carol Steltenkamp, UK Healthcare External Chief Medical Officer said.

Dr. Steltenkamp said data is showing that nationally, regionally, and in her own practice that well-child visits and immunization numbers are significantly down this year.

"The diseases for which we're giving the immunizations are preventable," Steltenkamp said. "Just because we are within this state that we're unused to, we're within a pandemic and everyone is dealing with that the best they can, that doesn't mean that polio or measles or tetanus or any of those have gone away."

So, no matter if kids are heading back into a classroom, learning from home, or doing some combination of the two, in a time of so many uncertainties, doctors say this is one routine you should count on.

"It's one thing we can maintain that frankly is a sense of sameness during all of this new normal that we're all adjusting to," Steltenkamp said. "We can still maintain and do this for our children."

Many doctor’s offices are taking certain precautions because of the pandemic. Steltenkamp said her office has designated areas of the clinic for well-child visits separate from sick patients. She suggests calling your doctor to find out what those new procedures may be.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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