No one wants to leave the doctors office with more problems than they came in with. Taking your child in for a well checkup is a great way to track developmental milestones and ensure proper asthma care.
But if you’re not careful, the doctor’s office could be the cause of your next illness. According to the CDC, people with asthma are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications even if they take their controller everyday.
There are steps you can take to avoid coming into contact with sick people in the doctor’s office. Take a look at these tips on how to avoid getting sick when going to the doctor’s office.
Schedule Early Visits
The average wait time to see a physician is around 24 minutes. This time period can see like an eternity when the waiting room is filled with coughing patients.
You can reduce your exposure to germs by scheduling your child’s doctor’s appointment early in the morning. Ask for the first appointment of the day when scheduling.
Check-In Before Your Appointment
Prepare your check-in documents in advance when visiting a new pediatrician. Many doctors offer standard check in forms online for you to print and complete ahead of time.
This can help you cut back on the time you spend in the waiting area. If your pediatrician doesn’t offer these documents online, request to have them emailed to you ahead of your appointment.
Use the Well Waiting Area
Some doctors offices offer separate waiting areas for sick and well patients. Always check for signs that mark where you should sit upon arrival.
Keep your child in the well area while you wait to avoid contamination. Often, books and toys are shared between spaces so bring your own hand sanitizer to apply to your child’s hands after she finishes playing.
Bring Your Own Everything
Bringing your own writing utensils means minimizing contact with potential germs during your doctor’s visit. In fact, bringing everything you’ll need to get through your doctor’s appointment can be helpful in avoiding germ exposure.
Ask your child to pack an activity bag with books and toys included. Add an extra pack of Kleenex and hand sanitizer in your bag to avoid using what you find in the doctor’s office.
Wash Your Hands
There are moments, like when using the bathroom, when you can’t avoid contact with shared surfaces. The only way to protect your family is to simply wash your hands.
The CDC recommends washing your hands for around 20 seconds or the full length of the “Happy Birthday” song to remove germs.
How to Avoid Getting Sick While Visiting the Doctor
The doctor’s office should be a place of refuge. But if you schedule your child’s well visits during cold and flu season, expect there to be a larger number of sick patients in the waiting area when you arrive.
Aim for the off season when making appointments for routine care. Telehealth resources are becoming the new normal.
Ask your doctor about options to schedule a telemedicine visit for your child’s next appointment. This is the ultimate social distancing measure to help avoid the spread of infectious disease.
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