Author: Lake Forest Pediatric Associates

UPDATE: COVID-19 INFORMATION

PRE-APPOINTMENT SCREENING QUESTIONS:

  • Do you or your child have any of these symptoms?
    • Cough
    • Fever greater than 100 degrees (Fahrenheit)
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • New onset of runny nose
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Sore throat
    • New loss of smell or taste
    • Diarrhea
    • Headache
    • Newly developed fatigue
    • Nausea or vomiting
  • Does anyone in your household have COVID-19, or have you or your child been in contact with someone who you know has COVID-19?
  • Is anyone in your household in quarantine due to a possible COVID-19 exposure?
  • Has anyone in your household recently been tested for or is anyone in your household awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test?

If you answer “yes” to any of the above, please contact our office for next steps.

All patients and family members or guardians accompanying a patient to his/her appointment must wear masks in the office.

 

COVID-19 TEST RESULTS

Quest Diagnostics handles the PCR tests administered in our practice. If you are looking for test results for either your child or yourself, you may use the following options:

 

COVID-19 INFORMATION

The disease in children is generally mild and not unlike the other cold and flu infections you may have helped your children through in the past. Serious complications including the possibility of a post Covid-19 multisystem inflammatory response remain rare.

SYMPTOMS

Any one of the following symptoms in a child can be consistent with Covid-19: runny nose or congestion, headache, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea or vomiting, poor appetite or poor feeding, diarrhea, loss of smell or taste. These symptoms are the same as seen in multiple other infections making it impossible to distinguish who has Covid-19 vs another viral or bacterial infection. Children can also be asymptomatic yet shed the virus and infect others.

Multisystem inflammatory disease is a severe illness marked by high fever and often intense abdominal pain. Patients are often very weak and appear very ill. It is felt to be a complication that arises from an immune reaction several weeks after a Covid -19 infection as patients usually test positive for antibodies to the virus and not the virus itself.

TESTING

ASYMPTOMATIC CHILDREN- We are NOW able to do asymptomatic screening in our office. The current Waukegan testing site, as well as few others, will also do these tests. Testing sites are available at https://www.lakecountyil.gov/4435/COVID-19-Testing That page includes the testing criteria for each site.

ILL CHILDREN- Testing has become more available over the past months and is available at our office (as long as our supplies are available) as well as various sites across the county. While having a positive test will not alter any treatment, it has become important as daycare and schools reopen to guide them when an ill child may return. Testing will also become important for contact tracing as that ability increases in the coming months. Our testing supplies are limited by national shortages and we cannot guarantee this ability on any given day but so far, we have been able to obtain them. Supply issues may worsen as the need for testing increases with the reopening of schools and daycares.

A NEGATIVE COVID TEST IS REQUIRED FOR ANY ONE OF THE ABOVE LISTED SYMPTOMS IN ORDER TO RETURN TO SCHOOL OR DAYCARE PER THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH as even very mildly ill children can be positive and can shed virus for up to 10 days even if they have recovered from very brief symptoms. The child and family members should quarantine pending the test results which can take several days. A diagnosis of an ear infection or a positive test for flu or strep throat does NOT rule out Covid-19 as many patients have been found to have both infections at the same time. Covid-19 testing and quarantine are still needed even with these diagnoses. There will be VERY few children that can be sent back to school or daycare with an alternative diagnosis and no Covid-19 test. We understand this will be frustrating for families but the public health department feels this if the best way to keep our schools and daycares safe and open.

QUICK TESTS- We offer in-office same day test for Covid-19. The test we offer is the BD Veritor rapid antigen test (as long as our supplies continue). This gives a result in about 30 minutes and can be used for most symptomatic children. It is less accurate for asymptomatic screening or when symptoms have been present for more than 5 days. Some schools and exposure situations require the PCR test, which we send to Quest Diagnostics, which has a turnaround time of 3-8 days, depending on their backlog at the time.

While the rapid test is not as accurate as the PCR test, the ID specialists at Lurie Children’s feel it is a reliable test in children as they have higher viral loads than adults. In certain, higher-risk situations, a backup PCR test may be recommended if the antigen test is negative.

IMMUNITY TESTS- If we knew contracting Covid-19 would give you lifelong immunity to this virus, an accurate verified test to see if you are immune would be extremely useful to us all. Unfortunately, all the tests have some false negative and false positive rates and may cross-react with other strains of coronaviruses. We also do not know if these antibodies we are testing for are the ones that give you immunity and even if they are, we do not know how long that immunity will last. Immunity to some of the other strains of coronavirus shows immunity starting to decrease after about 4 months with no immunity remaining after several years. We also do not know what level of antibodies will give you protection-you may test positive for a low level that will not protect you.

As we learn more and verify some of these tests, they will at first be helpful when testing large numbers of people to have a rough idea of how many people have been infected in a given area. Until we know a lot more, they will not be helpful for a given individual and we are not recommending them.

OFFICE INFORMATION

We now have adequate PPE in our office and can see sick children. In order to keep staff and patients safe we have instituted separate procedures for sick children and have them wait in their cars until their room is ready. They then enter the building through a separate entrance than well children do. These hours are currently at the end of each morning and the end of each afternoon in Lake Bluff and Lindenhurst. Vernon Hills currently is well visits only but will offer late a.m. ill appointments and early evening well visits starting in early October. Illness hours will be expanded as needed once we are into cold/flu season. THERE IS NO SICK CALL WALK IN HOUR and we do not expect to be able to have one in the foreseeable future. Testing is available at our office but is not guaranteed due to national shortages of supplies.

We are taking numerous precautions to protect your well child while visiting the office. We are contacting each patient shortly before their appointment to assure no one is ill in any way nor been exposed to anyone with Covid-19. We are asking that only one parent and no siblings come in with the child if possible. Our waiting areas have adequate spacing for social distancing.

Sick patients will wait in their cars until their rooms are ready and enter the office through a separate entrance. Rooms are being thoroughly wiped down between all patients. Providers will be wearing gloves, masks, gowns and goggles where appropriate with ill children to prevent any spread of the virus.

Well visits are considered essential care and we especially do not want anyone to fall behind on their immunizations. We are seeing all ages in all of our offices. Well visits will be either at a separate time of day or in a separate area of the office than ill children. Weekend appointments are available and we will also begin to have some early evening well appointments starting in October at our Vernon Hills office Monday through Thursday.

Happy Holidays! Special Office Hours

Happy Holidays from all of us at Lake Forest Pediatric Associates! May this holiday season be filled with warmth and togetherness!

We are here to serve your family throughout the holiday season. Please make a note of our special holiday office hours.

Holiday Office Hours 2020

Well Visits are Now Open for All Ages

Post Date: 1587441600
Status: live

We’re proud to be caring for your family! Lake Forest Pediatric Associates is happy to announce that our Lindenhurst and Lake Bluff offices are now open for Well Visits for All Ages. Call 847-295-1220 for an appointment.

AAP Recommends Well Child Visits

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents continue to bring their children for well child visits and to continue to follow their child’s vaccination schedule. Read more about it here: Pediatricians Want Parents to Keep Children’s Vaccination Appointments amid Coronavirus

Call for an Appointment

Please call 847-295-1220 to make an appointment for well child visits and vaccines at all offices.

Continued Safety

Caring for our patients, their parents, and our staff and keeping them safe continues to be our primary concern. During this stay-at-home time, it’s important to visit your provider for your child’s preventative care. We offer separate times dedicated solely to well visits and we’re taking extra precautions to keep our patients and staff safe.

-We continue to separate well visit and sick visit times for the day. Well visit appointment slots account for the vast majority of the day (morning through early afternoon) with sick visit times in the late afternoon (and not coinciding with well visits).

-Our front desk and nurse educators continue to apply screening questions for appointments.

-We continue to adhere to universal PPE protocols, having our staff in masks and using gloves, face shields, and gowns where necessary, and issuing masks to patients who need them.

-We continue to advocate that patients wait in their car until called back for their appointment. In addition, we limit the number of people in the waiting room and we adhere to social distancing recommendations.

Read our blog article here: Lake Forest Pediatrics Providing Safe & Effective Care.

Insurance Changes

If your health insurance coverage may be changing, it’s a good idea to utilize your family’s current insurance plan for your child’s covered visits. Schedule your child’s checkups and vaccinations by calling 847-295-1220.

Lake Forest Pediatrics Providing Safe & Effective Care

Post Date: 1586145600
Status: live

The safety of our patients, their parents and our staff is our primary concern at Lake Forest Pediatric Associates. In this new era, we have undertaken numerous measures to continue to provide safe and effective care to your children.

All of our staff have their temperatures taken twice daily per current CDC and IDPH guidelines and we are enforcing a strict “do not come to work sick” policy. We are employing universal masking for every staff member and enforcing social distancing.

We have discontinued walk-in sick call hours and now only see sick children in the late afternoon by appointment. We have implemented telemedicine visits to provide virtual care when possible.

We are currently seeing healthy children for checkups (primarily at ages that require vaccines) and appropriate medical follow up visits all morning and the first half of the afternoon. For the protection of other patients and staff, before your appointment, you will receive a screening phone call to make sure all members of the family are currently healthy.

We request that only one adult accompany the child into the office. We will ask you and, when possible, your child to wear masks and will provide them if necessary. We will minimize waiting room times and may ask you to wait in your vehicle until an exam room is available. At the front desk, you will notice tape markings on the floor to ensure a safe distance between you and our staff members. At the conclusion of every visit, we thoroughly clean the exam rooms.

Our COVID health and safety team constantly reviews and updates our policies based on the most current recommendations from the CDC and IDPH. Our goal is to continue to provide you with the best care and service during this challenging time. Thank you for your continued support.

We Now Offer Telemedicine Visits

Post Date: 1585540800
Status: live

Lake Forest Pediatrics is pleased to announce that we will now be offering telemedicine visits!

We can provide telemedicine services for your child for issues such as rash, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), allergies, styes, ear pain, vomiting/diarrhea, lacerations (to figure out if your child needs stitches!), or if your child has a cough and you’d like us to assess his/her breathing or have questions.

When contacting our office, our staff will ask you some follow-up questions in order to determine if a telemedicine visit is an appropriate option for your child.

If your child is scheduled with a specific provider, you will be sent an email with the website to go to at the time of your child’s appointment. If your appointment is during our telehealth “sick call” in the afternoon, you will be called by the provider with their website when they are ready to see your child. Please use a computer or device (such as a smartphone) with a good internet connection and webcam, and use an up to date version of Chrome or Firefox. Here is a video that demonstrates how to check in to your provider’s virtual waiting room: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJf9N9sjDLI#action=share. If you run into issues connecting, restart your computer/device or check out http://help.doxy.me.

In consenting to a telemedicine visit, you agree to:

•Login when instructed by your provider with your child nearby. We can better assess your child if you are in a well-lit area. If possible, please have a flashlight on hand (you can also use the one on your phone).

•Check and record your child’s temperature and weight prior to the appointment. If your child has respiratory symptoms and you have access to a pulse oximeter, please also check this vital sign.

•You understand that a telemedicine cannot fully replace an in-office visit. You understand and accept the limitations associated with a telemedicine visit.

•You consent to treatment via the telemedicine platform.

•Please note that if the visit goes toward patient responsibility (deductible/coinsurance), our regular financial policies will apply regarding payments.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call the office.

Dr. Bauer Assisting at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital

Post Date: 1584936000
Status: live

As many of you may know, Dr. Michael Bauer has been working part-time in an administrative role with Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.

Starting on March 23, 2020, Dr. Bauer will be taking a leave of absence from Lake Forest Pediatrics. On that date, he will begin working full-time at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital to help combat the challenging COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office at 847-295-1220.

Replace Nebulizers with Inhaler and Spacer

Post Date: 1584849600
Status: live

Nebulizers have been shown to aerosolize respiratory droplets and COVID-19, so it is recommended to use a metered dose inhaler with a spacer instead. This method is safe and effective to use in all ages, even infants.

If you only have a nebulizer at home and need an inhaler and spacer for your child, please call the office at 847-295-1220.

If your child is being seen in the office for respiratory symptoms and has a history of asthma or wheezing, please bring your child’s inhaler and spacer to the appointment.

Doctor Visits Allowed by Illinois Shelter-in-Place Order

Post Date: 1584676800
Status: live

Doctor visits ARE allowed by Illinois’ Shelter-in-Place Order. Just as the Order allows for visits to the grocery store, pharmacy, gas station, and other essential services, you are allowed to visit your doctor’s office. Our offices are open to serve you and will continue to be open.

Please view our recent blog article Modified Office Schedule and Processes for current office hours and processes. 

In addition, we are working to expand services to telehealth visits for several types of appointments in the coming days. Please continue to check our website and social media profiles for news.

Morning Walk-In Visits Cancelled

Post Date: 1584417600
Status: live

It is after careful thought and deliberation that we must temporarily cancel our morning walk-in visits. This was an incredibly difficult decision to reach after having successfully provided this service for over 40 years. We do so, however, to protect the health and well-being of your families and our staff.

We have been able to meet your needs with our Sunday/Holiday pre-booked sick appointments and will use this format to continue to treat ill children during the COVID-19 crisis. In follow-up to our previous notice, please find our modified schedule, for all our offices, below:

  • 7:45am: Phones go on
  • 8am-10:30am: Sick visits BY APPOINTMENT ONLY – NO WALK INS
  • 11am – noon: Follow-up visits (non-respiratory sick visits such as ear rechecks, rashes, concussions), well visits, and ADHD visits.
  • Noon – 1:30pm: Closed for lunch
  • 1:30pm – 3:45pm: Well-child and checkup visits. All patients coming to these visits must be free from fever, runny nose, and coughing. Anyone arriving with those symptoms will be asked to reschedule their appointment.
  • 4:15pm – 5pm: Sick visits BY APPOINTMENT ONLY – NO WALK INS

We greatly appreciate your trust and support as we adjust to the ever-changing demands this outbreak has caused on health care delivery.

Modified Office Schedule and Processes – Updated

Post Date: 1585540800
Status: live

The health, safety, and well-being of our patients and staff are our highest priority. With the growing concern about Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are taking necessary steps to help prevent the spread to our office.

To better protect your health and in response to the rapid and frequently changing information about COVID-19, we need to modify several of our long and established office schedules. We greatly appreciate your trust and support as we adjust to the ever-changing demands this outbreak has caused on health care delivery.

UPDATE: Starting Monday (4/13) and lasting through the end of April, we will be temporarily closing our Vernon Hills office.

Sunday hours remain unchanged: appointments only, NO WALK INS. Lake Bluff only.

Monday through Friday in Lake Bluff and Lindenhurst and Saturday morning in Lake Bluff and Lindenhurst:

  • 7:45am: Phones go on Monday-Saturday, 8:00am: Phones go on Sunday
  • 9:00am – Noon: Well-child visits and checkups in addition to follow-up visits (non-respiratory sick visits such as ear rechecks, rashes, concussions), and ADHD visits
  • Noon – 1:30pm: Closed for lunch
  • 1:30pm – 3:45pm: Well-child and checkup visits
  • 4:15pm – 5:00pm: Sick visits BY APPOINTMENT ONLY – NO WALK INS 

Since January, we have implemented a phone screening process for all appointments being scheduled. This policy has been modified several times over the last couple of months as the Coronavirus has spread internationally. Our Support Staff and Patient Educators have been diligently using phone triage protocols to identify possible risks and having those parents speak with our physicians for further instruction as indicated.

We are not testing for COVID-19 but are directing people to Urgent Care Facilities and the Health Department for testing. Please call our office if you are concerned about having COVID-19 symptoms and have had contact with a person who has also been potentially exposed or has COVID-19.

Please limit the number of family members coming with you to all appointments. We ask that only one parent/guardian accompany your child if possible. When feasible, please refrain from bringing siblings to the visit.

We discourage individuals considered older adults and those who may have health problems or may be immunocompromised from coming to the office for their safety.

To minimize the number of people in our waiting rooms, we may ask patients who check in at our front desk to give their mobile number and to go back and wait in their vehicles until we can place them into a room.

Please refer to our “Coronavirus and Helpful Resource” post for further information.

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