Cleveland, OH,
10:58 AM

Dramatic Decrease in Preventative Pediatric Visits May Lead to Further Issues

Pediatricians at The MetroHealth System are seeing more than a 50 percent drop in child wellness visits

MetroHealth pediatricians have seen a significant decrease in the number of infants and children coming in for preventative visits and vaccinations and it’s raising concerns about children’s overall health.

Information from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that pediatric visits have dropped 60 percent across the country during this COVID-19 pandemic. At MetroHealth, we have noticed a similar decrease in childhood preventative visits.

“This is mostly because of families’ concerns about COVID-19 and parents worried about bringing their children to the doctors,” said Dr. Nazha Abughali, Chair of Pediatrics at MetroHealth. “We, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, want parents to know that avoiding getting necessary healthcare for your child may lead to an increase in vaccine preventable diseases and other health problems.”

According to the AAP, these are some of the issues that could arise if pediatric appointments are missed or delayed:

  • Mental health problems in children and teenagers such as depression and anxiety.
  • Flare-ups of certain chronic conditions like asthma, allergies and diabetes.
  • Lower rates of immunizations to preventable and highly contagious diseases such as Measles and whooping cough.
  • Delayed diagnoses of illnesses and developmental problems such as autism.

We are looking forward to seeing you and your children for a well child visit. Rest assured that MetroHealth is following all safety guidelines including wearing face masks, deep cleaning, checking temperatures, limiting visitors and social distancing in waiting areas.

If your child has a minor illness or other concerns, you might prefer to connect with your pediatrician by scheduling a telephone or video visit, both are widely available. MetroHealth is here for you and your child.

 Here’s how you can schedule a telehealth appointment.

About The MetroHealth System

The MetroHealth System is redefining health care by going beyond medical treatment to improve the foundations of community health and well-being: affordable housing, a cleaner environment, economic opportunity and access to fresh food, convenient transportation, legal help and other services. The system strives to become as good at preventing disease as it is at treating it.

The system’s more than 600 doctors, 1,700 nurses and 7,800 employees go to work each day with a mission of service, to their patients and to the community. As Cuyahoga County’s safety-net health system, MetroHealth plays an essential role in the region, caring for anyone and everyone, regardless of an ability to pay.

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth operates four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. The system serves more than 300,000 patients, two-thirds of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

MetroHealth is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to research and to teaching and training tomorrow’s caregivers. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Lincoln-West School of Science & Health, the only high school in America located inside a hospital.

Knowing that good health is about much more than good medical care, MetroHealth has launched the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment), which uses a coordinated, collaborative and strategic approach to help patients with non-medical needs such as healthy food, stable housing and job training.

The MetroHealth Glick Center, a new 11-floor hospital, is under construction on the system’s main campus in Cleveland and is scheduled to welcome its first patients in October 2022. The billion-dollar project is the cornerstone of a wider neighborhood revitalization effort led by the system and its partners in the community.

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