Among the many other elements of impact of the Covid 19 experience was its effect of the cessation or delay of other medical diagnosis and treatment. Although most of the attention has gone to adult health consideration, this certainly affected pediatric care as well. And this very clearly showed up in the dramatic decline in well-care checkups during the epidemic, with many families slow to return to regularly scheduling their kids even after the more serious Covid period.
Dr. David Cotlar, in southwest Houston, like most pediatricians, tries to impart how important maintaining the standard schedule of well–baby and well-child checkups from infancy through adolescence is. At these checkups, growth parameters such as weight, length/height, and head circumference are accurately measured and plotted on standardized charts. This, along with a thorough physical exam, facilitates the important early recognition of abnormal patterns of growth of different types, and more prompt evaluation and attention to them.
Parallel to this, especially for infants and toddlers, is close monitoring of developmental milestones, to screen for and address delays of motor, cognitive, and speech milestones, with early diagnostic and therapeutic referral to speech, physical, and occupational therapists. At times, other previous illness visits might be a consideration in the timing of referral for pediatric specialty referrals as well.
There is even more than, that, though. Dr. Cotlar also personally discusses areas of anticipatory guidance, which include reminder recommendations of diet, safely, appropriate activities, and other areas of care appropriate for each age. Questions are gladly addressed And, of course, for dessert, there are the immunizations which are tied to the checkups of specific age. He is very comfortable in discussing the vaccine concerns and questions families might have about vaccine concerns, which seem to have increased since the overall Covid experience.
Maintaining regularity of well-baby and well-child care can provide very significant benefit for long term well-being, including enhancing the pediatrician’s ability to integrate any illness visits or telephone calls into a comprehensive health picture for our valued patients—your children.