Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

COVID-19 Special Edition: Self-Care Isn't Selfish

COVID-19 Special Edition: Self-Care Isn't Selfish

In the midst of a global pandemic, pediatricians are serving a unique role. While the coronavirus is generally showing milder effects on babies and children than on adults, there are still health concerns and considerations for infants in need of scheduled vaccinations, and kids who are home all day with parents who may be facing stressful situations. In the second episode of our special COVID-19 series of The Brain Architects, host Sally Pfitzer speaks with Dr. Rahil Briggs, National Director of ZERO TO THREE's HealthySteps program, to discuss how pediatricians are serving their patients during the pandemic, including using telehealth; why caregiver health is child health; and what she hopes the healthcare system can learn as a result of the pandemic. Upcoming episodes will focus on racial disparities in the effects of the virus, and domestic violence. Subscribe below via your podcast platform of choice to receive all new episodes as soon as they’re released. Speakers Sally Pfitzer, Podcast Host Dr. Rahil Briggs, National Director of ZERO TO THREE's HealthySteps Program Additional Resources Erikson Institute’s Fussy Baby Network: free phone consultations Healthy Steps: Caring for Yourself and Young Children During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis ZERO to THREE: Tips for Families: Coronavirus Transcript Sally: Welcome to The Brain Architects, a podcast from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. I’m your host, Sally Pfitzer. Since our last podcast series was released, things have changed drastically as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. During this unprecedented time, we’d like to share resources and provide guidance that you may find helpful. So, we are creating a series of podcast episodes that address COVID-19 and child development. This episode is the second in our series, and our guest today is Dr. Rahil Briggs, the National Director of ZERO TO THREE’s HealthySteps Program. Good morning, Rahil. Rahil: Good morning, Sally. Sally: And just so our listeners know, we’re recording this podcast today on a video call, so the sound quality may be different from what you’re used to hearing when we typically record this podcast in the studio. Rahil, what are you starting to see out in the field with pediatric practices effected by this virus, particularly in the HealthySteps locations, and how are the pediatricians starting to respond to the Coronavirus situation? Rahil: Sure, thanks Sally. It’s an excellent question and honestly, depending on when listeners are catching this it may have already changed by now. The American Academy of Pediatrics is really our guide star for figuring out what’s going on and what they’re recommending, but a couple of facts on the ground really remain the same. That pediatric primary care is the main system we have for reaching young children. In a normal time, whatever that was and may be in the future, pediatric primary care reaches nearly all young children in our country. Right now, the American Academy of Pediatrics in recognition of the importance of vaccinations, and in recognition of the importance of really high quality newborn pediatric care continues to recommend actually, that families bring newborns, and bring infants and toddlers who need vaccinations into the primary care practice. So, that is pretty extraordinary and speaks to the importance of those services even with the Coronavirus swirling around. As you know, there are about 12-13 well child visits in those first three years. 7 of them occur in the first year of life, and a big chunk occur in that newborn period where they are checking everything from the bilirubin levels to maybe redoing the newborn blood stick to the weight gain and all these really critical pieces. So to your question - what are we hearing now and what are we hearing from our HealthySteps specialists who work side by side alongside the pediatricians in these practices?

Duration: 16 min

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