All newborns should be seen by a pediatric healthcare provider shortly after hospital discharge (3 to 5 days of age). Every effort should be made to conduct newborn follow-up visits in person, even amongst Covid-19. This is important to be able to evaluate for dehydration and jaundice in the baby as well as postpartum depression in the mother.
Educate parents on what the possible signs of Covid-19 are in neonates. These include: fever, lethargy, rhinorrhea, cough, tachypnea, increased work of breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, and feeding intolerance or decreased intake.
Healthcare providers are also encouraged to prioritize vaccination of infants and young children (through 24 months of age) to prevent an increased risk of disease. Older children, unless behind on their vaccines, may postpone visits.
Alternative approaches, such as telemedicine, may be considered when providing lactation support services or for non-urgent questions by the parents.
To help ensure the clinic setting is as safe as possible, providers should implement the following practices:
- Scheduling sick visits and well-childcare visits during different times of the day
- Reducing crowding in waiting rooms by asking patients to remain outside (e.g., stay in their vehicles, if applicable) until they are called into the facility for their appointment
- Having all staff members, parents, and children over 2yrs of age wear facial coverings
Additionally, pediatric providers may wish to contact patients ahead of time to complete as much of the H&P as possible to reduce the amount of time the patient spends in the clinic.
*Information is taken from the CDC and Harvard Health Publishing*