Published on April 20, 2020

Local Pediatricians Stress Importance of Well Visits, Immunizations

Dr. Price examining a babyTime waits for no one… not even COVID-19, and local pediatricians stress that time is an important factor in growing children, especially the very young.

Children’s Clinics in Tupelo and Saltillo are taking proper precautions to protect their patients and staff and are encouraging parents to continue to bring their children for well visits and scheduled vaccinations. “We don’t want to see a measles outbreak in a year because children weren’t brought in for their immunizations,” said Amy Price, M.D., a pediatrician with Children’s Clinic of Saltillo. “Little babies are so vulnerable to whooping cough. We don’t want our little ones missing out on vaccines.”

Dr. Price said missed appointments equal missed opportunities to talk about development. “If you have developmental delays and you’re six weeks later for your appointment, we’ve missed out on a lot of opportunity. A month for a child younger than 2 is a long time.”

To limit exposure, the Children’s Clinics are scheduling wellness visits in the mornings and sick children in the afternoons. “Parents can call the clinic to check in when they arrive and wait in their cars until we call them to come in. Our waiting areas are closed right now,” Dr. Price said. “We’ll bring them straight back to an exam room.” Only one person may accompany each patient at this time.

Wellness visits are also important for school-age children. “Yes, they need their vaccines, but that’s not all we do to prepare a child for school,” Dr. Price said. “We conduct vision and hearing screening, and we look for development of motor skills. We also discuss social development and school readiness and try to anticipate any problems that may arise.”

Whenever possible, pediatricians and nurse practitioners at the Children’s Clinics are conducting virtual or telephone appointments with children at home. “Virtual visits are harder to do with children most of the time because we can’t look in their ears or listen to their chest,” Dr. Price said. “But for an insect bite or eczema that a parent is concerned about, usually a virtual visit will work fine.”

Children’s Clinic is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday in both Tupelo and Saltillo. For appointment information at either clinic, call (662) 844-9885 or 1-800-THE DESK (1-800-843-3375). For more information about virtual or telephone appointments, visit www.nmhs.net/virtual-care.

Photo Caption:  Dr. Amy Price examines 2-week-old Bailey McMillen at Children’s Clinic in Saltillo.

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