Well-Child Visits, Sports Physicals, and Vaccinations

This post is sponsored by MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center.

well-child visitsThe COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives and calendars upside down. To protect your families and each other, most have stayed in and often worked at home. Parents became their children’s teachers — and if they venture out, they remain six-feet apart and wear masks. This continues to keep you safe, but you may have fallen behind on well-child visits and scheduled vaccinations.

School and sporting activities start soon and deadlines for required physicals and vaccinations to attend school and participate on sports teams have not changed. MercyOne, has enhanced the safety of their clinics to get kids back-on-track for wellness. They also offer Virtual Visits for some appointments.

“We are still learning about COVID-19, and the impact it could have on children,” says MercyOne pediatrician, Dr. Sara Schutte-Schenck. “While treatments and a vaccine for this virus are being developed, it’s important we don’t forget the many childhood diseases which can be prevented now. Thankfully, we know a lot about diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough, meningitis and the flu. Vaccinations can keep them from further complicating your child’s health and well-being.

“I understand parents worry about a vaccine interfering with the ability of their child’s immune system to defend itself against other infectious agents,” Dr. Schutte-Schenck says. “I also know our bodies have an amazing ability to ‘multi-task.’ Our immune system can form antibodies to the vaccine(s) being given and still be able to fight off other infectious pathogens or exposures. Vaccines are also considered one of the most important advancements in medicine in the past century. They have been able to reduce or eliminate or reduce diseases like polio and measles, and significantly decrease the impact of many other infectious diseases on the health of our society.”

“We need vaccinations to keep us all safe,” she says. “By vaccinating all, or most people in a population, ‘herd immunity’ develops. This immunity protects the majority. This is very important because diseases can still be active in other parts of the world. Since we can’t vaccinate against COVID-19 right now, it’s even more important we avoid other health crises we can prevent – by getting a shot. This is also why a flu shot for everyone six months and older will be extremely important this fall.

Enhanced Safety

Safe care is a priority for MercyOne. All MercyOne clinics, medical centers, and care locations have enhanced our safety protocols, including:

  • Everyone entering our facilities, from patients to MercyOne colleagues—is screened for symptoms of COVID-19, including having their temperature checked.
  • Masks are required for all in their care locations.
  • They have established designated areas where they provide care only for those not known to have COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms to help reduce the risk of infection.
  • They’re following guidelines to test patients for COVID-19 prior to scheduled procedures.
  • They are doing more cleaning than ever before, especially of high-touch surfaces in both patient care and public spaces like lobbies, waiting areas, and restrooms. All operating, emergency, inpatient, and procedure rooms get an intense disinfecting and cleaning from the ceiling to the floor between each patient, with special attention to surfaces that are often touched, like doorknobs, light switches, hand-sanitizer dispensers, furniture, armrests, and beds.
  • They suggest only the child(ren) with an appointment and one accompanying adult attend, to minimize exposure.
  • Hand-sanitizing stations are available throughout the facilities for your convenience.
  • They are following social-distancing guidelines in all their facilities – including the use of floor stickers and signs to encourage appropriate six-foot spacing.
  • MercyOne encourages you to register before you arrive at the clinic. Their colleagues can tell you how.

Life During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic will likely be with us for a while, Dr. Schutte-Schenck says. As parents, you will need to remain vigilant and continue to help your children with wearing a mask, washing their hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and maintaining social distancing. You will also still have to make some hard choices about not visiting grandma and grandpa or getting together with other family members. You will miss each other and these opportunities, but you can engage the children in finding other ways to communicate with letters, phone calls, or video chats.

During this time, your children will also rely on you even more for comfort. They will look to you for reassurance everything will be okay. By remaining calm and letting them know everything will be alright and the current situation isn’t permanent, they are less likely to worry. Kids typically don’t worry, unless they see their parents worry. They find comfort in knowing their parents are going to take care of them.

Support During COVID-19

Should you see a need to help your child(ren) or yourself cope with the pandemic uncertainty, your local MercyOne is here to support you with resources and information to help reduce stress. They have services for the whole family and may be available virtually.

Help keep your child well by scheduling their well-child visits and school physicals today.

Urgent Care Clinics Returning to Regular Hours

As of Monday, July 6, the follow MercyOne Urgent Care locations returned to regular hours.  For updates on other MercyOne locations visit their website at mercyone.org.

MercyOne Clive Urgent Care
601 NW 114th St., Ste. 255, Clive
Hours: Mon-Fri: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sat-Sun: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

MercyOne Pleasant Hill Urgent Care
5900 E University Ave., Ste. 100, Pleasant Hill
Hours: Mon-Fri: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sat-Sun: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

MercyOne Ankeny Urgent Care
800 E 1st Street, Ste. 1700, Ankeny
Hours: Mon-Fri: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sat-Sun: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

MercyOne Urgent Care Clinics Temporarily CLOSED include

•  Indianola Urgent Care Clinic | 307 E Scenic Valley Ave., Indianola
•  South Des Moines Urgent Care Clinic | 6601 SW 9th St., Des Moines
•  East Village Urgent Care Clinic | 1350 Des Moines St., Des Moines
•  MercyOne Des Moines Pediatric Urgent Care | 330 Laurel St., Ste. 2100, Des Moines

Connect with MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center

Website: MercyOne.org/desmoines

Twitter: @MercyOneDSM

Facebook: @mercyonedesmoines

Instagram: @mercyonedesmoines

Pinterest: @MercyOneDesMoines

The post is part of a series of sponsored posts by MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center

What to do when your child has a fever

Pediatric neurology

What you need to know on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Primary Care Sports Medicine Physician

Convenient Medical Care During Social Distancing

Child Care Is Crucial During Even During a Pandemic

What to Expect When Expecting During a Pandemic


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here