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Dr. Katie Blount

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

In the last few months, our Mid-Missouri communities have made tremendous sacrifices as a result of the novel coronavirus. The medical community cannot thank you enough for all you have done to help control the spread of the virus. Health care providers are continuously educating themselves on how to safely care for their patients at this time. Here are a few important things to keep in mind:

1) It is safe and important to bring your child to the doctor if they are due for a routine visit or they are not feeling well. Clinics have made changes to ensure you have a safe place to come for healthcare. These changes may include:

a designated time of day and/or area of the clinic for those who need routine well-child care vs. those who are acutely ill;

cleaning exam rooms between each patient visit and deep cleaning the clinic every night;

adjustments to the waiting room or check-in/waiting procedure;

requiring all staff members providing direct patient care wear a mask;

limiting the number of people coming to the visit to just the patient and one caregiver;

and in some cases, a "telehealth" video visit that can occur from your home.

2) It is important that all children continue to receive their vaccines on time. While we have been hyper-focused on the coronavirus, we cannot forget other known preventable diseases like the measles and whooping cough that can cause serious life-threatening illnesses. If there are increasing numbers of children delaying their vaccines, we risk losing our herd immunity to these diseases. If you have a child who is less than 2 years old and has a routine well visit in the near future, they likely need vaccines. For older children, the most common ages needing vaccines include 4-5 years, 11-12 years, and 16 years. If you are not sure if your child needs a vaccine, check with your provider's office.

3) Washing hands frequently and limiting exposure to others by staying home are still extremely important and effective ways to help limit the spread of infectious diseases. Keep it up!

We are here for you and want you to feel comfortable seeking care for all your medical needs. If you have a question about your child's health or need to schedule an appointment, please call your provider's office.

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