Dear CMG families,
We hope you are staying warm during this recent cold front. As a community, our numbers are slowly starting to creep back up. We know everyone is suffering from COVID fatigue. We wanted to reach out to encourage people to continue to wear masks, wash their hands, and physically distance when appropriate.
The importance of social interaction for children over 3 years old cannot be overstated. This interaction can take many forms, whether it is going back to school with in person masking, being 100% virtual with a friend they do a regular play date with, or doing a small learning pod.
We have seen such amazing emotional benefits in all of our patients since they have been allowed to return to some degree of regular social interaction, even if it is just with one friend. Most of our patients in kindergarten and up are wearing masks to school everyday. This has not seemed to slow them down at all! I hope you take a moment to look at your children and appreciate how incredibly resilient they have been through all of this. It is truly remarkable. We know they need to be around others, and we encourage you to find ways to do this safely.
We are so proud of all our families who have received their flu shots. We have already given over 1800 flu shots since September 1st of this year. If your child has not had their annual well visit, we would love to get them scheduled and vaccinated during this time. We are no longer offering Saturday flu clinics but will do our best to accommodate your child during the week if there is availability. We received additional flu shots from one of our vendors this week which we are very thankful for. Many local pharmacies are also giving flu shots. Some of our older patients have chosen to go to Tarrytown Pharmacy, CVS, and Target (where you also get a $5 gift card).
We are just starting to see the flu in our community. In the past our influenza season has always closely mirrored Australia’s and others in the southern hemisphere. This year, they had the mildest flu season they have had in decades. This has been attributed to the combination of both very high flu vaccination rates and universal masking. If we are able to mirror those efforts here, we are hoping for the same results. As you may know, a bad flu season amidst COVID-19 is nothing we want to see.
Most things in our clinic have not changed. To recap:
When you arrive for your appointment, please remain in the parking lot. We will have you check in from your car and direct you to a room once there is a clean room open. We do not want anyone sitting in the waiting room.
If your child has any signs of illness, we will ask you to reschedule your child’s well check. We apologize in advance about this. We are really trying to make sure the office is completely illness free in the morning and early afternoon while well patients are there.
We LOVE Halloween!! It is an amazing holiday and dressing in costume is so much fun for children. We hope you all find ways to celebrate with your kids. Trick-or-treating in the way it has been done in years past is considered a high risk activity to spread novel coronavirus. The Austin Public Health Department has put out some recommendations of low and medium risk activities that can be done as alternatives.
The CDC is expecting novel coronavirus spikes around Thanksgiving and Christmas as these are usually big family holidays with large indoor gatherings. It is worth beginning these talks with family and friends to find ways to celebrate these incredible times of year while still being safe.
The number one increase in pediatric admissions to Dell Children’s Medical Center over the last few months has been due to behavioral health concerns, including suicide attempts. This has been a trend seen across the country. We do not take this lightly and the data is terrifying. The state has given additional funds to help pediatricians support our patients with more access to care for our families through a new program called CPAN (Child Psychiatry Access Network) that is orchestrated through Dell Medical School. Please reach out to us if you have serious concerns about your child.
You can also do small things to help during this time. Try to spend some one on one time with your child with no distractions. Just spending 15 minutes, with no phone, no TV, etc, once a day, focused on them, can make a huge difference. Many of our families have also found techniques like mindfulness or yoga helpful. Headspace has an app for children that has three-minute mindfulness exercises that you can do together to help decrease anxiety and calm their bodies. The AAP also has some wonderful additional resources.
Thank you again for trusting us with your most prized possessions. We are so thankful for you.
Stay safe and healthy,
Your family at CMG