October is National Children’s Health Month, and today we celebrate ways to keep kids healthy. We know some children missed out on well-child visits in the last two years during the coronavirus pandemic, but babies and kids can’t wait any longer! We know that there are many challenges in accessing care. Right now one of those challenges is a backlog for routine visit appointments. We ask that parents go ahead and make well-child visits, even though getting an appointment with some providers may take several months. Please be patient and know that you are doing the right thing in scheduling visits for things like:
Routine immunizations - We know that kids’ routine immunization rates fell during the pandemic. Now is a great time to schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician and get your kid up-to-date on vaccines to protect against serious diseases like polio, tetanus and influenza.
Developmental milestones - Your child develops physically, mentally, and emotionally every day. Schedule a well-child visit to talk with your pediatrician about developmental milestones and early intervention for kids who may need support.
Oral health - Improve gums and help build strong and healthy teeth by making sure your child brushes twice a day in the mornings and evenings. Make an appointment with your child’s dentist today to make sure all teeth are developing normally and that there are no dental problems.
“During the pandemic, extra strain on families due to work, school, and childcare changes has made it difficult to keep up on preventive care for ourselves and for our children. I know in my family, juggling day-to-day tasks took priority and I wasn’t always comfortable having my children in a healthcare setting” said Dr. Amy Harley, Co-Health Officer with the Whatcom County Health Department. “However, this is now a great time to catch up on routine vaccinations, well-child visits and dental check-ups. These important prevention measures protect your children and keep them as healthy and happy as possible.”
If you are a healthcare provider or childcare worker, we’ve created a toolkit of materials to help you communicate about things like routine immunizations, oral health, and well-child visits. These multilingual materials can help you talk with parents, provide content for your newsletters, social media, and print materials for your lobby and waiting rooms. Download these tools at https://babiesandkidscantwait.org/