We are so excited to announce the return of well care to our Apex office.
Dear Favorite Patients:
For the past several weeks we at Cary, Fuquay-Varina, and Apex Pediatrics have been remaining flexible during the ongoing pandemic. We have been trying to anticipate the needs of our patients and our community in remaining open, available for checkups, concern visits, or telehealth visits. When this all began, we were pleased to have the flexibility of making one of ours an office where we saw patients with coughs and fevers, while keeping the remaining offices for well-care only. This has been helpful, but has also meant that hundreds of our patients in our Apex office have had to have their visits cancelled or moved to other offices.
As time has passed, and we have seen a dramatic drop in the number of truly sick patients in our office, we will be changing how we see patients in Apex. Those of you who go to Apex as your medical home know that our space there is like two distinct medical offices connected together with hallways. We have a lot of space there, with few connections between them. This weekend after our Saturday sick office is closed, we will be having industry professionals install hospital grade plastic between our “new” half, and our “old” half in Apex. Our entire office will be extensively and professionally cleaned.
The partition with plastic will create a full hallway in Apex on the “old” side with its own entrance, bathroom, multiple exam rooms, and a dedicated provider and nurse who will staff there all day long. Patients needing to be seen here will not be in any waiting room, and will be brought in directly from their car to an exam room by staff wearing masks. We would respectfully request you also wear masks if possible when you come in for your visit, and bring a minimal number of people with you. Once your visit is done, you will leave directly to your car.
On our “new” side, we will resume care as we have previously, with Dr. Steele, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Bowman, and our wonderful nurse practitioners Shana Bailey and Ali Groesser. This space will remain our checkup area, without sharing of staff or patients each day. It is our hope that by doing this, parents will remain confident that they can bring their children in to any of our offices for checkups, their yearly screenings, immunizations, and relationship building that we value as your medical home.
We also added some additional resources related to caring for your children during COVID-19. There is important information on emergency numbers, locations where children can get free meals, and opportunities to help others through this tough time. You can always visit our A-Z Guide for loads of other resources including how to apply for Medicaid and Nutrition Services.
Your doctors and nurse practitioners at Cary/Fuquay/Apex Pediatrics are here for you, not only for medical care, but as a source of reliable and sane information. We suggest you look at COVID-19 information from two perspectives.
The best way to stay healthy is by practicing good hand washing, remembering not to touch your face, and staying away from large gatherings. Take advantage of the nicer weather and get outdoors. If you or any one in your family is sick, stay home. When needed, cough into your elbow. If your child is sick, please call us.
For the time being, our Apex office will be seeing all the patients that are sick with fever or respiratory symptoms like cough. If you child has one of these complaints, then you will be asked to be seen in the Apex office. This will allow us to have both the Fuquay-Varina and Cary office to see our well patients.
If you child has a rash or other non-respiratory complaints, then they will be seen in Fuquay-Varina or Cary. We very much want to protect the children of our community, while at the same time allow us to provide care for those who are sick. We ask you to please not come to our Fuquay-Varina or Cary offices if you are sick or bring along siblings who may be sick.
We ask for understanding and patience as there may be some last minute cancelation of your children’s appointments so that we can continue to provide the very best and safest care to all of our patients. We encourage you to keep your scheduled well care appointments. Children still need to get physicals and the vaccines that protect them from illnesses much more serious than coronavirus. All of our offices have implemented procedures to keep you safe. We are following appropriate CDC recommendations. We are cleaning intensely and often.
We are here for you, our community, just as we have been since 1976, and we will continue to be here for you when this pandemic is over. Our providers and staff are taking this very seriously and will continue to be vigilant for our precious families.
So what exactly are we doing?
We are screening extensively for COVID-19 symptoms prior to scheduling our patients.
We are monitoring our staff daily, recording temperatures, and identifying potential symptoms.
Our Cary and Fuquay-Varina offices are designated as our “well” offices. This protection for our patients is key and helps provide a safer zone. NO ONE WITH COUGH OR FEVER IS ALLOWED IN THE DOORS. If you have these symptoms, you will be directed to our Apex location.
Beginning this week, all employees who have direct contact with patients in our well offices will be wearing a mask. This is to protect us from potential asymptomatic carriers. You may want prepare your younger children for this. For our sick office in Apex, you will see us in full PPE. Thank you to the many wonderful people and businesses who have donated PPE.
We are practicing social distancing so that no family should be within six feet of another family. We are also requesting that only one caregiver accompany their child to visits. The only exception to this is for our newborn and two-week-old visits.
We are excited to now be offering telehealth. If you have a concern that you feel can be handled virtually, we are more than happy to schedule that for you. Examples may include: medication checks, rashes, behavior concerns, quarantined families, etc. Our nurses are ready to help make that decision daily with you.
We are constantly updating our website with the latest information, sending out email newsletters like this, and posting on our social media sites. (If you don’t already follow us on Instagram or Facebook, you should!)
In short, stay home, stay safe, and if you do need to see us, we are here for you!
In the lists below you will find our recommendations for accurate and helpful resources.
What else can you do? Shut off the TV and give yourself and your children a break. When possible, keep their schedules normal. If your district is open, send them to school. Look for anxiety symptoms – such as moodiness, trouble sleeping and separation anxiety. Talk to your children about their fears. Reassure them. If you or your kids are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, consider looking at this simple but helpful tool from ImaginAction.
With the flu season just around the corner, we have a few things to keep in mind.
First, and most importantly, we recommend that all children 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine. This is the best and most effective way to prevent your children from getting the flu. If you haven’t already, please call one of our offices to schedule a nurse visit to receive the flu vaccine. Bear with us as our supplies of the flu vaccine are changing daily.
At this time of year, we receive lots of letters from urgent care clinics in the area stating that a child has been diagnosed with the flu and been given Tamiflu, usually appropriately, but sometimes inappropriately. Tamiflu is ONLY indicated in children 2 weeks and older who have been symptomatic for LESS THAN 48 hours. When given in the first 48 hours of the illness, Tamiflu has been shown to reduce symptoms by only 1-2 days. Therefore, do not expect your child to improve immediately after being given Tamiflu.
After 48 hours, there is no evidence that Tamiflu has been shown to be effective and should’t be given unless your child is critically ill from the flu (meaning your child is in the ICU in the hospital). There are only a few, rare, reasons to give Tamiflu to children who have been exposed to influenza. We can explain those situations to you if this case should arise.
Just like antibiotics, inappropriate use of Tamiflu can lead to increase in resistance, decreasing the effectiveness of Tamiflu. If you have more questions refer to the CDC web site or call our office.
We believe in the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent serious illness and to save lives.
We believe in the safety of our vaccines.
We believe that all children and young adults should receive all of the recommended vaccines according to the schedule published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
We believe, based on all available literature, evidence, and current studies, that vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.
We believe that thimerosal, a preservative that has been in vaccines for decades and remains in some vaccines, does not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.
We believe that vaccinating children and young adults may be the single most important health-promoting intervention we perform as health care providers, and that you perform as parents/caregivers. The recommended vaccines and their schedule are the results of years and years of scientific study and research, with data gathered on millions of children by thousands of our brightest scientists and physicians.
These things being said, we recognize that there has always been and will likely always be controversy surrounding vaccination.
The vaccine campaign is a victim of its own success. It’s precisely because vaccines are so effective at preventing illness that we even discuss whether or not they should be given. Because of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, many of you have never seen a child with polio, tetanus, whooping cough, bacterial meningitis, or even chickenpox.
Over the past several years, some people have chosen not to vaccinate their children with the MMR vaccine after publication in Europe of an unfounded suspicion that the vaccine caused autism. This claim was later discredited and retracted. Unfortunately, decreased vaccination rates have resulted in a rise in the number of measles cases across Europe.
Please understand that delaying or “breaking up” vaccines to give one or two at a time over several visits goes against expert recommendations and can put your child at risk for serious illness or even death. Doing these things also goes against our medical advice.
As medical professionals entrusted with the lives of children we believe strongly that vaccinating children on schedule with currently available vaccines is the right thing to do. With rising rates of pertussis being seen in this country we have made the decision here at Cary, Fuquay, and Apex Pediatrics to require our patients to meet certain vaccine standards to be part of the practice. This is to protect the health of your child, our patients, and our community.
Finally, if you should refuse to vaccinate your child despite all our efforts and recommendations, we will ask you to find another health care provider who shares your views.
We write this statement not to scare you, nor to coerce you, but to make you aware of the facts, and to emphasize the importance of vaccinating your child.
Please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns you have about vaccines with any one of our providers. Please also recognize that we will do everything we can to convince you that vaccinating your child according to the recommended schedule is the right thing to do. It is our job to advocate for children and their health is our priority.
Bear in mind that diseases we vaccinate are not gone. The number of cases of measles last year was more than any single year since the 1990’s; most of the cases in children who have not been vaccinated either because of age or by choice.
See the Downloads list below for fact sheets about each vaccine.
We are now offering CPR training for new parents, members of volunteer organizations, athletes, and anyone who wants to learn CPR that does not require certification. Those who participate in the course will receive a student manual and hands on practice. The course covers:
The course will be offered only in our Fuquay-Varina Office. Cost is $33.00 per person. Please call our office or sign up at the front desk to register for the course.
***Courses are currently on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak. ***
We now offer computer-based cognitive function testing for young athletes to serve as a baseline for the child in case they would suffer a concussion. This is offered for children five and older. While this testing is available for athletes of contact sports in public schools and private schools, our middle school athletes often do not always have this option.
We are offering this service at all three locations. Cost for this testing will be $30. To register your child, either speak with your provider, or call our office to request this service.
Our office performs ADHD screening for our families and helps them navigate the confusing landscape of ‘attention’ in school and at home. Please call to set up a consult with one of our providers if you or the school has concerns.
Asthma affects one in ten children and is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. As a practice, we are committed to helping you and your child control their asthma symptoms so that they can have a normal and active lifestyle.
During your visit, your child may undergo pulmonary function testing and you may be asked to complete an Asthma Control Test. These tools help us understand how well your child’s asthma is controlled.
Your child will also have an examination and we will review his/her symptoms and medication use.