Well-visits are a very important part of your kids' healthcare. These visits help to monitor your kids' growth and overall health, keep you informed of all any updated information about illnesses or vaccines and get the questions that you have answered. Unfortunately, many parents skip these appointments because they deem them unnecessary or don't want to risk exposing their kids to the germs that are found at even the cleanest family doctor's office.
If you're concerned about your kids getting sick during the doctor's visit, these tips can help.
When the appointment is scheduled will make a difference in how many germs are present in the office. Try to schedule appointments as early in the morning as possible. Typically, the practice will be cleaned each night, so the sooner you get there, the fewer kids will have been in each exam room – this means, fewer germs.
Another thing to consider when scheduling well-visits are the sick seasons – avoid scheduling well-visits during the peak of flu season. You know that the schedule will be full during those weeks and the doctors may be rushed to see each patient. Not only will the office be busier, but those flu germs will be floating around everywhere.
The day of the visit, you can do a few things differently:
Don't arrive too early. The more time you spend in the waiting room, the more exposed you will be to the sick patients sitting beside you and walking through.
Take a family member or friend along and keep the kids in the car until the doctor is just about ready for them. This is a precaution to take when you know that your kid is very sick and don't want to expose anyone else to it, or if you know that there are viruses plaguing your community and the waiting room is full of those suffering from it.
Always use the hand sanitizer at the office. There will be multiple dispensers located throughout. Use it when you arrive and when you leave.
Bring your own entertainment. Many family practices have removed the books and toys from the waiting areas because they are too prone to spreading germs. Bring something from home to keep the kids entertained in a chair – don't let them on the floor no matter how hard they fight for it.
Talk with your family medicine clinic and learn what else can be done to keep the germs from coming home with your family after a visit.