Lexington pediatrician pleads with parents for continued check-ups

Flu Season
Posted at 8:18 AM, Jul 20, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Even during a pandemic, there are certain practices that a Lexington pediatrician said must press on: children's check-ups.

For weeks at the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Katrina Hood, a pediatrician at Pediatric and Adolescent Associates in Lexington, said visits were sparse as families feared to go anywhere since so little was known about the virus.

But, she explains she and her team used that time to change the narrative. "What we learned in those two months has helped us a great deal. Our patients are very comfortable coming in; we have a well-clinic we have clinics where we're only seeing well-patients. We don't associate the sick load with that well-clinic. We have different doors, so sick patients can come in one door. Well come in the other, we still aren't using our waiting room," said Dr. Hood.

She explained that her office usually carries out many more check-ups this time of year with needs for vaccines and physicals before school starts. She said those vaccines are critical, "the last thing we want is an outbreak of measles, or an outbreak of pertussis because people have been scared to come in."

Dr. Hood also spoke about the upcoming flu vaccination.

"It's very important as soon as those start coming out because once you have flu, a child's immune system is affected and so they don't fight things off. That's why we see healthy kids get really, really sick with the flu. And now, you have to add in the complication of, oh yes, your child has the flu, and they also happen to catch coronavirus because they weren't able to find it off as they were as a healthy kiddo, so flu vaccine is critical," she said. "Every year. But this year, even more so."

As the coronavirus case count fluctuates, Dr. Hood explained the questions are constant. She recounted, "As much as parents want us to say, 'you should do this' or 'you shouldn't do this,' 'you should go to school,' 'you shouldn't go to school,' 'people can visit you,' 'they shouldn't visit.' I mean, it's, there's no clear cut yes or no. And so, the questions that we're getting are 'should my child with asthma go back to school?' 'Should my child, you know, with this history of medication use, should they go?' And, you know, those sort of things and so, and there's no answer I think we're going to have a lot better answers when we get closer to school if this numbers of cases continue to go up."