“Safer at Home” Office Hours
Well Care Appointments
|Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. By Appointment Only|
|Monday-Friday 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. By Appointment Only|
|Monday-Friday 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. By Appointment Only|
|Suspended, however our on-call doctor and nurse are available as always.|
As Memphis is phasing in a reopen process after our “Safer at Home” time, we are continually updating our procedures to allow our patients to return to regular wellness visit and vaccine schedules. Some of these changes include temporary modifications of our waiting area, scheduling well visits in the morning with sick visits in the afternoon, and dedicating exam rooms as “Well” or “Sick”.
During this time, it is very important to catch up on any wellness visits or vaccines that were delayed due to the “Safer at Home” restrictions.
You may also find there are medical issues that didn’t warrant getting out during the past few weeks but that need to be addressed. This is also a great time to catch up on those issues.
As for the past several weeks, our clinical staff are wearing masks to help protect you and your child from potential asymptomatic spread. For now Televisit appointments are also available.
With the current coronavirus pandemic upon us, many of our patient’s parents have questions and are looking for guidance. So far, we’ve learned that the situation is changing almost every day. We will be keeping the information posted here as up to date as is possible.
The current strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new version of a type of virus that regularly causes illness. This new strain is a problem because there is no group immunity to prevent it’s spread and it may be more contagious. This brings up lots of public health questions. We continue to look to the public health officials for guidance about the advice that we give our patients.
As you’ve likely heard, COVID-19 does not cause as much severe illness in children. The latest information does say that children can experience severe illness as well. It is true that older people or people with other medical problems may be at much more risk. That information does mean that during this outbreak children who are sick should probably be isolated from older adults or other people who are in high risk groups.
Of course people have questions. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common things people are calling about and have answered them here.
Is Laurelwood Pediatrics open?
Yes, we are open and returning to providing most of our usual services but our schedules and many of our office procedures are different that usual to help promote distancing and reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.
Should we come to Laurelwood to have my child's checkup?
Yes. Now is the time to start catching up on important wellness visits and vaccines that were missed due to the recent restrictions.
We have taken new measures to protect our healthy patients who come in for their checkup visits. Not only do we have separate waiting rooms available, but also we have designated exam rooms as “well only” to make sure that we limit potential risks. We are also scheduling well visits only in the morning times with sick visits in the afternoon. Our doctors and clinical staff are wearing masks to help avoid the possibility of asymptomatic exposure as well.
During this time, please minimize the number of family members who accompany your child to the visit.
My child has a cough and a fever. Should I come to Laurelwood to get it checked out?
Most of the children that we are seeing have routine childhood illnesses. If your child is sick, we advise that you generally treat the illness just as you would normally. In other words, if you would typically come in to have these symptoms checked by the doctor, you should treat this illness similarly. If you feel that observation is appropriate you may continue to treat symptoms at home as well. If you need help making that decision, you may call the office and ask one of our nurses.
If you are specifically concerned that your child may have coronavirus infection, please call and speak with one of our nurses. Drive through testing sites are increasingly available and provide a way to be tested without potentially exposing other patients or families in the office. We can help you know what the best option may be for your child with a brief phone call.
Should my child wear a cloth face mask?
The CDC is now recommending that we wear face masks made of cloth when out in public when keeping a distance of 6 feet apart is not easy (like going to the grocery store). This advice has brought up lots of questions about kids. In general, masks are not recommended for children under age 2 and only for kids 2 years and older when maintaining a safe distance is not likely and if the mask does not make them actually touch their faces more that they would without a mask on. There’s a great article available on the healthychildren.org website that you may want to read to learn more.
How is drive through testing available in Memphis?
There are several options available for drive through testing, but at this point the best option is offered by UT at Tiger Lane and in Frayser. To make an appointment there, text the word “COVID” to 901-203-5526. You should then receive a survey about your child’s symptoms. If testing is appropriate, you will be given an appointment time and you can drive through the testing area to have a nasal swab sample taken. The results should be back within 24-48 hours.
Can children "catch" Coronavirus?
Yes, children can definitely be infected with this novel coronavirus. The latest data from the CDC on COVID-19 cases in the United States showed that of 150,000 cases, only 1.6% involved children 18 years old or younger. Of that group of children, hospitalization was necessary in about 6%.
We continue to learn new information as this illness affects more and more people. Although the latest data does support the idea that children get coronavirus less often than do adults it can still cause serious illness in children. This should all remind us to continue to follow the current advice from our health organizations and governments and to practice good distancing and hygiene.
Are you doing testing for COVID-19 at Laurelwood?
We can collect specimens for testing for COVID-19 which can be sent to our outside lab. We continue to follow the national guidelines for determining who should be tested.
Now that drive through testing is available in Memphis, this may be the best way to test people for coronavirus with the least possible exposure to other patients or families. If you are concerned that your child may have coronavirus, please call and speak with one of our nurses before coming to the office so that we can help you find the best way to care for your child while limiting potential spread to others.
Should my child be tested for COVID-19?
The CDC recommendations for testing are changing and will likely continue to change. The emphasis at this time is to prioritize patients who have COVID-19 symptoms and are extremely ill, have underlying risk factors, or who have been exposed to COVID-19.
If you think that your child needs to be tested, please call and speak with one of our nurses who can help you make that decision and can help coordinate that testing.
Is it safe to take my child out in public?
Currently, the policies of social distancing are important to help protect our communities and country. Now that community spread is in our area, we are seeing increasing restrictions being placed. We advise avoiding unnecessary exposures to others during this time. For now, a walk or bike ride outside is fine. We would not advise gathering in groups for play dates or other social activities.
Currently, our mayor is recommending that a single family member do the necessary shopping alone. If possible, we recommend avoiding taking your child to the grocery or on other outings around others.
How do I talk to my kids about the coronavirus pandemic?
As the COVID-19 pandemic affects life in our area more and more each of us naturally feels anxiety in a variety of ways. Very frequently parents anxiety transfers to our kids. It’s important to develop ways to be honest with your kids while at the same time reminding them that we will get through this outbreak and their daily lives will return to normal.
One technique for avoiding excessive anxiety is to focus on today and avoid worrying too much about weeks and months ahead. You can remind your kids that they have food, a place to live and you there to take care of them and love them.
As always, make sure that your conversation with your kids is tailored for their age. You may need to have different conversations with each of your children in different settings that are age appropriate. Also while school is suspended or online, help your kids establish new routines that include getting dressed and a somewhat regular schedule.
Check out the links on the page below for some helpful resources.
The following links provide some of the best information that is available about COVID-19:
CDC COVID-19 Home Page
CDC Guidelines on what to do if you or your child is sick.
University of Tennessee COVID-19 information page including a tool to help you know if you or your child should be tested.
We’ve found some good resources to help parents and kids while being “Safer at Home”:
The CDC’s official page about Talking with children about coronavirus.
The Child Mind Institute has some interesting resources for parents in helping their children understand coronavirus.
Sesame Street has opened a new Caring Site with lots of resources online. They have also made many of their books available for free on most ebook platforms.
The New York Times’ podcast “The Daily” released “A Kids Guide to Coronavirus” an episode with a scientist who answers kids’ questions about coronavirus. It could be a good tool to either listen with your older kids or to give you some answers to younger kids questions.
Bright Horizons has a nice page, “Talking to Kids about COVID-19” with lots of good information and some common questions that kids ask.