How to keep your child’s health on track in a season where everything keeps changing

Fall is traditionally the season of change but for parents during Fall of 2021, this is the ultimate season of change. Your mind is full of questions: “ Is school in session, or virtual?” “Can my kids get vaccinated?” “ If they are back at school, how do I teach them ways to stay safe?” “ I don’t want to scare them, but I want them to understand how important it is to pay attention to some rules that will ensure their safety.”  

Your pediatricians at Premier Medical Group understand that parents have just come through the most confusing year ever, so they have put their heads together to provide you with the essential parent’s guide to keeping your kids safe, healthy and happy this season.

Schedule your child’s COVID-19 vaccination

If your child is healthy, we want to keep them healthy. While most kids don’t become seriously ill from COVID-19, some do get very sick and need to go to the hospital. Even those who feel fine will still have to stay home from school and miss social interactions. They may even have some of the strange side effects like loss of taste and smell or headaches. That’s why we want your child to be protected. It’s also the easiest way for our community to build a strong immunity to COVID-19

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization for children ages 12 through 15. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine requires two injections given 21 days apart. The second dose can be given up to six weeks after the first dose if needed.

Research has shown that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective in preventing the COVID-19 virus in children ages 12 through 15. Previous research has shown that the vaccine is 95% effective in preventing the COVID-19 virus with symptoms in people aged 16 and older.  

If your child had already had COVID-19, should they get vaccinated?

When 90 days have passed from the infection, the CDC recommends that children 12-15  get the COVID-19 vaccine.

What if my child has an underlying health condition, should they get the shot?

Almost every eligible child should get the vaccine. One rare exception is kids who have had a severe allergic reaction to a similar vaccine, but they are very few and far between. If you have questions about your child and the COVID-19 vaccine, please reach out to your child’s pediatrician. We’re here to guide you.

Teaching safe habits

For every child’s well-being, it’s important that they learn how to make school a safe place to be. It’s also true that most children are tired of the restrictions they’ve experienced this past year. Reminding them of safe practices, like social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing and using only their own school supplies need regular reinforcement so that they can slow the spread of the virus, and continue to be able to attend school in person. If your child is sick, keep them at home until their symptoms have cleared. Encourage them to stay hydrated and to choose healthy foods to strengthen their immune system. Common sense and good hygiene are part of helping us all to move forward out of the pandemic.

The importance of your child’s annual wellness exam

Given all that we’ve been through in the past 18 months, it may be that some annual physicals have been put on the back burner. Now’s the time to be sure that they are up to date on their vaccines – even if they aren’t eligible for the COVID vaccine. It’s also a great moment to check in on age-appropriate growth and milestones of emotional and social development, blood pressure, vision and hearing. If there are changes in family history, or child’s medical history, these should be documented. 

Keeping in touch with your pediatrician through the patient portal

Every parent has questions and concerns. The Premier Medical Group is a great way to get fast answers without having to sit around waiting for a phone call back. You can use the portal to send a secure message to the practice, to request prescription refills, to make or cancel an appointment and view your account statement and pay your bill. If you aren’t using yours, let us know and we’ll be happy to help you to get on board.  Premier Patient Portal