CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — An uptick in children’s respiratory viruses combined with COVID has caused long lines at the doctor’s office. One local pediatric group is asking parents for help so they can see as many sick patients as possible.
An influx of early influenza cases and raging rates of RSV. Pediatric offices across the Capital Region are getting unprecedented demands for appointments.
“Children are really sick right now,” Barbara Quinn, Community Care Pediatrics Nurse Practitioner, said. “I can’t say if it’s worse, but it’s a heavy season.”
Heavy enough to prompt Community Care Pediatrics offices in Clifton Park, Malta and Saratoga to send out an email titled “Should My Child Be Seen?” It says in part: “We hear and feel your frustration and are trying our best…As always, our main goal is to encourage and empower you to manage childhood illnesses as much as possible at home as so much of what we do in the office is reassurance…Also, we want to be sure we can provide appointments for our sickest patients.”
Quinn is a nurse practitioner in the Clifton Park office.
“I think the goal of the letter was to weed out some illnesses that were pretty benign: general colds, general coughs,” she explained.
Quinn said children should always be seen if they have a fever over 100.4 for more than five completed days, severe pain, signs of dehydration, or if there’s breathing concerns. She said the office’s nurse triage line is a great tool for parents to gauge what level of care their kids may need, even if hold times are longer.
But don’t get discouraged. Healthcare professionals said it is always worth the wait to deal with your primary care physician or pediatrician.
“Even though you might have to wait to talk to a trained professional, I think that’s important before going and sitting in a room with a bunch of sick people and having babies ill and surrounded by more illness if it’s something we could talk through with you at home and symptomatically manage,” Quinn said.
It’s a season of sickness that’s requiring patience from patients and medical professionals alike.