Get care now: Ensuring your child’s healthcare is up to date

Annual well child checks help make sure your child is in optimal health, all year long

Many things have changed since COVID-19 hit. One thing that has and will always stay the same is the prioritization of our children’s health.

Although families might have put their healthcare on the back burner at the beginning of the pandemic due to stay-at-home orders and fear of catching the virus, they are now encouraged by the state and Memorial Regional Health to schedule appointments for routine and preventative care — especially for children, some of whom will return to the classroom on Aug. 31.

Our providers are offering well child checks, sick visits, preventative screenings and immunizations for school-aged children in the community. Remember that immunization records are required for enrollment in Moffat Country School District and delaying required vaccinations could delay their access to education.

Safety of your family is our primary concern, and we have safe protocols in place to ensure you are protected against COVID-19 and other illnesses while in our care. Contact our offices today to schedule an appointment (see breakout box for information).

How well child checks keep kids healthy

Parents know to take their kids to the doctor when they’re sick, but it’s just as important to take them when they are healthy, too.

Annual exams help to track the growth and development of your child from birth until they reach age 18, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). They allow for your pediatrician or primary care provider to better monitor your child’s health as they age, and they teach children the importance of seeking preventative care throughout life and developing relationships with their provider.

They are also a great opportunity for parents to bring up any questions or concerns, such as development, behavior, sleep or eating habits, regarding their child’s health.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), missing these routine health check-ups can put children at risk for various health issues. By having your child visit their provider each year, your provider can keep track of what is normal for them, allowing for easy and early diagnosis of any illness in your child.

During a routine well child check, your child’s vital signs are collected, including oxygen levels, heart rate and temperature. Then, your child is measured for height and weight to determine their body mass index and they receive a head-to-toe physical examination from their provider, who will check their ears, heart, lungs, skin and eyes.

Following is an opportunity for discussion between you, your child and their provider to address any concerns or changes. Then, your child will receive any of their scheduled immunizations.

Importance of immunizations

WATCH: Dr. Elise Sullivan, family medicine provider at MRH, answers questions about childhood immunizations. She explains the importance of why children should be vaccinated and the reasons parents should follow the recommended immunization schedule. She also busts common myths about immunizations that are floating around in the community and shares stories about how vaccines can be life-saving. 

Scheduled, routine immunizations can help prevent illness in your child. The CDPHE reports that children who are not vaccinated are left more vulnerable to preventable diseases such as measles, whooping cough and cancers caused by HPV.

Vaccinations are consistently tested to ensure the extent of their benefit and their safety, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and they work with your child’s natural defenses to develop protection from disease.

COVID-19 delayed many childhood vaccinations earlier this year, according to the AAP. It’s important to know healthcare facilities like MRH are implementing safety precautions necessary to keep patients protected from any illnesses and that seeking routine care for your child is safe.

Immunizations not only keep your child and family safe but also help to ensure others in the community stay safe as well. For example, ensuring your child is vaccinated can help protect more vulnerable members in society, such as immunocompromised adults and newborns who aren’t old enough for their immunizations yet.

Through “herd immunity,” which is the percentage of people who need to be vaccinated to avoid any major health outbreaks, the community at-large is protected. When that percentage is not met, which is usually around 95 percent, the community at-large can be at risk.

Parents who opt not to vaccinate their children usually do so out of fear or are making their child’s healthcare decisions based on misinformation. Only a very small number of people have a valid medical reason, such as certain immunodeficiencies, that warrants an exemption from certain vaccines.

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH), some parents might find watching their babies or young children receive several vaccinations to be upsetting, but these shots are necessary to protect them from multiple dangerous, deadly diseases. Vaccinations can sometimes cause mild side effects, such as redness or swelling where the shot was taken, but serious side effects are very rare.

“The public health benefits of vaccination far outweigh the possible side effects,” the NIH report says.

For more information about immunizations, please feel free to speak with your primary care provider or pediatrician about their benefits to your child.

Get your care now

Memorial Regional Health offers well child checks and immunizations for school-aged children in our community. Our pediatricians and primary care providers will help to ensure your child has all the proper vaccinations they need, when they need them, in order for them to safely learn in the classroom with their peers.

If you need to schedule your child’s annual exam, need to provide proof of immunization records to Moffat County School District or want to schedule another appointment, please contact our pediatrics or family medicine departments.

Appointments are available Monday through Friday.

Pediatrics Appointments

Craig Office:
970-826-2480

Learn more about services here.

Family Medicine/Primary Care Appointments

Medical Clinic:
970-826-2400

Specialty Clinic:
970-824-3252

Steamboat Clinic:
970-826-8440

Learn more about services here.

School-required vaccines in Colorado

Vaccines that are required to enter childcare/daycare include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTap)
  • Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)
  • Inactivated poliovirus (IPV)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) or polysaccharide (PPSV23)
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Varicella (chicken pox)

Vaccines that are required to enter grade school (K-12) include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTap)*
  • Inactivated poliovirus (IPV)*
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)*