Take Care, Don’t Delay Care

LITTLE ROCK, AR. (May 22, 2020) – Arkansas Children’s has a message for families striving to protect their children during the COVID-19 pandemic: The best thing they can do is stay on top of vaccines, routine check-ups and preventive health care for their kids.

A national trend indicates many children are skipping annual check-ups and vaccines that keep them healthy as cautious families postpone doctor’s visits. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) in Little Rock and Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW) in Springdale have seen this scenario play out in our state. 

“Parents want to do what’s best for their children. It’s critical they understand kids need to continue regularly seeing their primary care pediatrician and any specialists they visited before the pandemic,” said Marcy Doderer, FACHE, President & Chief Executive Officer of Arkansas Children’s. “For kids to stay healthy, families must ensure vaccines, keep doctor’s appointments and seek emergency care for the usual bumps and breaks of childhood.” 

Families can learn more about the importance of vaccines and check-ups from the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.healthychildren.org and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents.  

Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock and Arkansas Children’s Northwest in Springdale continue to be open for appointments and procedures. Their clinics and emergency departments are ready to care for kids, too.

“Childhood illnesses and injuries won’t take a time-out due to social distancing,” Doderer said. “That’s why all Arkansas Children’s facilities are open and ready to serve kids and families 24/7 with doctors, nurses and staff who know kids best.”

Arkansas Children’s hospitals and clinics are taking many important steps to ensure families are safe when they visit.

Families will experience:

  • Deep cleaning practices that exceed CDC specifications, including extra attention to high-touch areas like light switches, sink faucets and restrooms
  • Masks on all fellow patients, visitors and health care providers
  • A detailed screening process that includes checking for fever
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) on health care providers
  • More room in waiting areas to allow for social distancing

“Parents should not fear taking their child to the doctor. Pediatricians across our state are taking similar steps to keep kids safe in their practices,” said Rick Barr, MD, pediatrician in chief for Arkansas Children’s and chair of the Department of Pediatrics in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine. 

“Vaccines are scientifically proven to be among the safest and most effective ways to protect children and babies from diseases ranging from measles to meningitis,” Barr said. “If routine care is delayed, we will see a rise in other health problems that may be more harmful to children than COVID-19.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends multiple well-child care visits per year for children younger than 3 years of age and yearly primary care visits for older children and adolescents.

Families should call their pediatricians’ offices to discuss appointment options and which vaccines their children need.

To learn more about what Arkansas Children’s is doing to protect kids and families who seek care at its hospitals, visit www.archildrens.org/safe.

Arkansas Children's, Inc. is the only healthcare system in the state solely dedicated to caring for Arkansas' 710,000 children. The private, non-profit organization includes two pediatric hospitals, a pediatric research institute and USDA nutrition center, a philanthropic foundation, a nursery alliance, statewide clinics, and many education and outreach programs — all focused on fulfilling a promise to define and deliver unprecedented child health. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) is a 336-bed, Magnet-recognized facility in Little Rock operating the state’s only Level I pediatric trauma center; the state's only burn center; the state's only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit; the state's only pediatric intensive care unit; the state’s only pediatric surgery program with Level 1 verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS); the state’s only magnetoencephalography (MEG) system for neurosurgical planning and cutting-edge research; and the state's only nationally recognized pediatric transport program. Additionally, ACH is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in five pediatric subspecialties (2019—2020): Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics and Pulmonology. ACH is one of only five hospitals in the nation that have achieved Magnet Status, ACS Level 1 verification and a Beacon award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW), the first and only pediatric hospital in the Northwest Arkansas region, opened in Springdale in early 2018. ACNW operates a 24-bed inpatient unit; a surgical unit with five operating rooms; outpatient clinics offering over 20 subspecialties; diagnostic services; imaging capabilities; occupational therapy services; and Northwest Arkansas' only pediatric emergency department, equipped with 30 exam rooms. Generous philanthropic and volunteer engagement has sustained Arkansas Children's since it began as an orphanage in 1912, and today ensures the system can fundamentally transform the health of children in Arkansas and beyond. To learn more, visit archildrens.org.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state’s Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — cancer, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

Are you planning for your child to get the flu shot this season?

If your child is a patient at one of our primary care clinics, please register them at one of our locations.

Little Rock - Schedule an appointment with the Immunization Clinic

Springdale - Call to schedule an appointment