The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for use of a new Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in children between the ages of 5 and 11. This is a new product with a lower dose than what is recommended for teenagers and adults.
You can schedule the vaccination by calling the office 508-427-6000 to connect with a member of our team to schedule. Phone lines are open Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Although the Novel Coronavirus pandemic has caused us all to be very concerned about our health and safety, the Providers and Staff at Cedar Hill Pediatrics continue to be committed to keeping you and your family safe when you visit our office. Our practices and recommendations are in compliance with those of the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Public Health of Massachusetts, the Partners Healthcare Organization and the Governor of Massachusetts.
We are confident that you have all done a fantastic job in your communities by practicing social distancing, washing your hands, staying at home when you’re sick and wearing your masks. Therefore, prior to coming into our office, you will be asked a number of screening questions to ensure that neither you nor your child, have any Covid- 19 exposures or evidence of Covid-19 disease.
Coronavirus Changes to Office Policies
Please note some important changes to our hours, schedules and policies listed below.
1. We have resumed daytime physical schedules. This is a great time to get your child’s physical since no sick patients will be here. Please let us know if your child is sick with any fever, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion or muscle aches so that we can reschedule their physical to a time when they are health. Please note, that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers of Disease Control have strongly encouraged parents to continue to bring their children, 18 months and younger, to receive their appropriate vaccines. We at Cedar Hill Pediatrics would also like to strongly recommend that other children who are due for vaccines should also be seen.
2. Only 1 family member should accompany the child to the office. An exception would be made for newborns since both parents are welcome to be present at those appointments.
3. We will NOT be seeing patients with respiratory illnesses at our office during the coronavirus pandemic but will be happy to provide Telemedicine advice from one of our Providers and will be closely involved in directing the care of your child.
4. Telemedicine appointments will occur all day long, during our normal business hours. We have successfully provided many Telemedicine visits for issues that include but are not limited to: behavioral concerns, constipation, conjunctivitis, ADHD, anxiety, depression, rashes and many more illnesses and concerns. When you call our office, the provider’s URL will be provided to you and you will be given an appointment time. We are using the platform doxy.me which is best supported by Google Chrome and Firefox. We have discovered that there is better reception with laptops than phones. In addition, when patients are on their phones ( iPhones more than Androids), they seem to have some difficulty hearing the provider. Although we may not be able to see you at the office, we can’t wait to see you virtually! Many of the children seem to be enjoying it. However, we can’t wait to see you in person again.
5. Non-respiratory sick visits will be scheduled from 1:45 PM to 4:45 PM Monday through Thursday and 1:45 PM to 4:30 PM on Friday. Should you need to come into our office for a non- respiratory issue, you will also be screened prior to your visit. These visits will be from 1:45 PM to 4:45 PM Monday through Thursday and 1:45 pm to 4:30 pm on Friday.
6. Please note that we will NOT be providing EVENING HOURS and are unable to accept WALK-INS at this time.
7. Covid-screening will be done prior to all in-office appointments See you soon!
Our current protocol once you arrive at the office includes:
1. On arrival to our office, you will call us while you’re still in your vehicle. You will again be screened with our Covid-19 screening questions. Your insurance verification and payment will be handled over the phone.
2. Once a room is available, you will come in and be taken immediately from your vehicle to the room.
3. Please wear your mask when entering our office. We always sanitize our beds in our rooms prior to each patient but we are now sanitizing door knobs, faucets and our stethoscopes prior to each patient.
4. All staff, medical assistants and providers who interact with your child, will be wearing masks, gloves and eyewear.
Important Information about the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV) Pandemic:
There are numerous strains of coronaviruses many of which cause mild illness. The 2019-nCoV can present with the common cold, a mild flu or significant respiratory illness. Symptoms of 2019-nCoV include, sore throat, cough, congestion, fever, loss of smell, myalgias and shortness of breath. Incubation time after exposure can be up to 14 days. The children that are most susceptible to more significant illness seem to be children under 2, those with pre-existing respiratory or cardiac disease and those who are immunocompromised. Most patients recover but an approximately 2 % overall death rate has been reported with the 2019-nCoV and this number is expected to be much lower in children.
What if my child is exposed to and/or contracts Covid- 19?
Fortunately, it seems that healthy children from 2- 18 generally present with mild flu symptoms including fever and cough and most self-resolve with symptomatic treatment at home. However, should your child have worsening symptoms during the course of their illness, this could be a sign that a serious secondary infection like a pneumonia has occurred. If your child develops these serious symptoms, please call the office to speak with a Doctor or, on call Nurse.
Testing for COVID-19:
If you know that your child has been exposed to Covid-19, please do not hesitate to call us to assist with facilitating your child’s testing for Covid-19. Remember, many cases can be handled at home and you do not want to present to the Emergency Room, if your child has mild symptoms. Please note that providers are following strict testing guidelines recommended by the MA DPH and your testing will not be approved for routine fever or cough without a known Covid-19 exposure, unless your children fall into a high-risk category (Immunocompromised or serious pre-existing respiratory or cardiac conditions).
We thank you for your patience and flexibility as the Coronavirus pandemic is a very fluid situation. The light is at the end of the tunnel as scientists and physicians work diligently to produce an effective vaccine and to find effective medications to treat the Coronavirus.
Resources Partners Coronavirus Hotline Phone Number: 617-724-7000
Supporting Clinicians, Patients and the Public. This call line will be open from 8 AM to 8 PM, seven days per week. Anyone can contact the call line for the most reliable, up to date and expert information about this developing pandemic.