What to expect at CHOC outpatient offices during COVID-19

As CHOC Children’s and other healthcare facilities adapt to the fluid environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and national, state and local recommendations and guidelines changing frequently, you may notice some changes the next time you visit the doctor’s office. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we adjust our practices to ensure a safe environment for our patients, families, staff and community.

Our phone lines are busy.

We anticipate our phone lines being busier than normal. Thank you, in advance, for your patience with our staff, who remain dedicated to providing the best customer service. If you have questions about your child’s health and COVID-19, call our 24/7 nurse line at 1-844-GET-CHOC.

You are going to be asked more questions.

Your history of potential COVID-19 exposure, travel history and recent symptoms are clues to your family’s risk. We are screening on the phone and prior to entry into our clinical areas.

You may be asked to see your doctor virtually.

Many appointments can be done through telehealth, which means you can interact with a provider from the comfort and safety of your home. Depending on your child’s health needs, you may be asked to see your doctor using a computer or mobile device. When you schedule a telehealth appointment, you will receive a link by email or text message, which will connect with a CHOC provider at your appointment time.

Appointment times might change.

Your appointment may be moved to a different location, date or time. Appointments that can be safely delayed may be rescheduled  to accommodate surging demand. We will continue to do our best to accommodate our patients and appreciate your patience and flexibility.

You may see a different provider.

We will relocate some providers to different locations to ensure adequate staffing and to protect providers who may be at risk. If your child’s provider is not available, you will be given the option of seeing a different provider or rescheduling for a future date if possible. We thank you for being flexible with our providers.

We will ask you to limit the number of people with your child.

For the safety of our patients, families, physicians and staff, we are limiting the number of people who can accompany a patient. Please check choc.org/visiting for the latest visitor guidelines by location.

No one will come to work sick.

This has always been our policy, but we will be extra cautious in the current climate. Please be aware that there may be occasions when we will need to make last-minute cancellations or location/provider changes due to staffing issues.

Our cleaning procedures are rigorous.

We will continue to thoroughly sanitize our offices to the most rigorous standards. Clinical areas will be cleaned multiple times per day, in addition to the medical grade sanitization we have always provided.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and our efforts to provide you with the safest and most effective care will not stop. Please stay tuned to choc.org/visiting for the latest information about visiting our locations.

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20-second songs to sing while you wash your hands

How long do you have to wash your hands? At least 20 seconds each time. This equates to the time it takes to sing “Happy birthday” twice. But if you’re looking for a refresh on your hand-washing set let,  Kevin Budd, a CHOC Children’s music therapist, has compiled this list of 20-second snippets of your favorite songs, to sing while you wash your hands. (And you can get more hand-washing tips from a CHOC Children’s pediatrician here.)

Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars
When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
’cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for a while
‘Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are

Mr. Brightside – The Killers
Jealousy, turning saints into the sea
Swimming through sick lullabies
Choking on your alibis
But it’s just the price I pay
Destiny is calling me
Open up my eager eyes
‘Cause I’m Mr. Brightside

Love on Top – Beyoncé
Baby it’s you
You’re the one I love
You’re the one I need
You’re the only one I see
Come on baby it’s you
You’re the one that gives your all
You’re the one I can always call
When I need to make everything stop
Finally you put my love on top

Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots
Wish we could turn back time,
to the good old days
When our momma sang us to sleep
but now we’re stressed out
Wish we could turn back time,
to the good old days
When our momma sang us to sleep
but now we’re stressed out

Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore
Can we go back? This is the moment
Tonight is the night; we’ll fight till it’s over
So we put our hands up
Like the ceiling can’t hold us
Like the ceiling can’t hold us X2

Some Nights – fun.
Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck
Some nights, I call it a draw
Some nights, I wish that my lips could build a castle
Some nights, I wish they’d just fall off
But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I’m still not sure, what I stand for oh
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know anymore

Truth Hurts – Lizzo
Why men great ‘til they gotta be great
Don’t text me; tell it straight to my face
Best friend sat me down in the salon chair
Shampoo press, get you out of my hair
Fresh photos with the bomb lighting
New man on the Minnesota Vikings
Truth hurts, needed something more exciting
Bom bom bi dom bi dum bum bay

Whatever it Takes – Imagine Dragons
Whatever it takes
‘Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I do whatever it takes
‘Cause I love how it feels when I break the chains
Whatever it takes
You take me to the top I’m ready for
Whatever it takes
‘Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I do what it takes

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CHOC Foundation events postponed

We understand there are rising concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19). We want to assure you that CHOC is taking precautions to protect the health and well-being of the community. One precautionary measure we have decided to take is to postpone all Foundation events and activities through April 30, 2020.

Below is a list of events that have been postponed or cancelled.

Postponed
March 16, 2020 – Jack & Jill Tee it Up for CHOC

Canceled
March 28, 2020 – Lamp Lighter & Squires – Cheers CHOC

Postponed
March 27-28, 2020 – CHOC Follies

Postponed
April 30, 2020 – Unidos Por CHOC

This was a difficult decision, but we believe it’s in the best interest of our family of supporters and the community at large. We will miss engaging with you, our wonderful partners, and sincerely appreciate your understanding. We will reschedule our beloved events when the time is right, and we will be thrilled to see all of you then.

CHOC leadership, including our internationally recognized infectious disease team, will continue to work with health and governmental agencies to ensure we continue to deliver high-quality care to the children and families who depend on us to be there for them.

The safety of our staff and community is our utmost priority. Thank you for your understanding and your continued support of our passionate defense of childhood.

View all Foundation events here.

For all inquiries related to these events, please contact communityengagement@choc.org.

This article was last updated on March 16, 2020.

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8 ways to protect children with diabetes from COVID-19

We know how frightening the spread of the 2019 novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) may be for parents – especially parents of children with diabetes.

The good news is that for children with diabetes, there is no evidence this virus will be any different than most other viral respiratory illnesses. As always, an illness will require increased glucose monitoring, possible ketone testing, and increased attention to insulin and carbohydrate intake.

If any person with diabetes gets sick — from any cause— CHOC Children’s endocrinology department recommends the following:

  1. If you are using a glucose meter, check your glucose more often, every two to three hours at minimum.
  2. If you are using a continuous glucose monitoring, or CGM, device such as DexCom or Libre, review the data from your continuous glucose every one to three hours to monitor for trends and adjust your insulin/food intake.
  3. If you are on injections, always take your long-acting insulin (such as Lantus, Levemir, Tresiba or Basaglar), even if you are eating less. If you are experiencing overnight lows, you can decrease your dose by 10%. For example, if you use 20 units nightly, then decrease down to 18 units, but if you need to decrease further for continued low blood glucose values, please contact your provider.
  4. If you are using an insulin pump, continue to wear the pump for basal insulin.
  5. Continue to stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids.
  6. Check for ketones if glucose readings are higher than 300 for more than three hours.
  7. If you have moderate or large ketones, especially if you are vomiting, contact your provider.
  8. Ensure you have your diabetes supplies, and that you are not close to running out.

For type 1 diabetes–specific topics related to COVID-19, please visit JDRF.org/coronavirus.

CHOC’s endocrinology department continues to offer on-site office visits, but if you or your child is sick, please stay home and notify us that you will not be attending the visit. Our team will work with your family on alternative arrangements if you cannot make it to your scheduled visit.

CHOC endocrinology can be reached during daytime hours at 714-509-8634. During evenings and weekends, call 714-765-7679.

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9 ways to protect immunocompromised children from COVID-19

We know how frightening it may be for parents to hear news reports about the 2019 novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – especially parents of immunocompromised children.

At this time, the full impact of COVID-19 on children, especially those with compromised immune systems, is unknown. However, limited information so far shows that most healthy children with the virus have done well.

Here are some recommendations for steps to take to help protect immunocompromised children from COVID-19:

  1. Call your provider

Call your child’s care provider first if your child has a runny nose or cough. Go to the emergency department if a cough or runny nose is accompanied by fever, or if you are advised to by your doctor, or you believe the situation is emergent.

  1. Follow through with medical appointments

If you have medical appointments that are important to your child’s care, you should attend them. The risk of getting COVID-19 in the U.S. is currently low. It is reasonable to cancel non-essential appointments that can be rescheduled. If you are unsure whether to attend your child’s appointment, please call ahead.

  1. Practice good hand-washing

Everyone in the home should consistently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of illness. If you don’t have access to soap and water, hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol is a good alternative. Get a pediatrician’s tips for proper hand-washing.

  1. Cover coughs and sneezes

Cough and sneeze into your inner elbow – and teach children to do the same. It’s also important for everyone to avoid touching their mouths, noses and eyes.

  1. Disinfect high-touch surfaces

It is important to disinfect surfaces that are commonly touched such as the cell phones, tablets, game controllers, doorknobs, light switches and table counters.

  1. Practice social distancing

Greet people with elbow bumps instead of hugs or handshakes. Additionally, follow the California Department of Public Health’s guidance for public gatherings. Issued March 12, it recommends cancelling or postponing gatherings that include 250 people or more or smaller gatherings that don’t allow for social distancing of 6 feet per person.

  1. Weigh the impact of school attendance

Orange County public school districts have closed schools. If your child’s school, however, is still operational and you believe your child’s health would be better supported by not attending school at this time and your child’s condition warrants a letter of  support, contact your provider.

  1. Don’t rely on face masks 

A face mask may help if your child is sick to prevent the spread of germs to others. However, it is not the best way to keep your child from getting exposed.  A better way to keep your child from getting exposed is through avoiding crowded situations and ill people, and practicing good hand-washing. Your child should have also received a flu shot, which may prevent respiratory illness due to influenza.

  1. Travel cautiously

It is better to avoid unnecessary travel in closed confined spaces flights, buses or trains. If someone in your family has recently traveled to an area with high COVID-19 activity and is showing symptoms of respiratory illness, it is best for you and your child, immunocompromised or not, to avoid contact with the person for at least 14 days.  Make sure you have necessary medical supplies and prescription medications on hand, check levels of all your medications and let your provider know if you need refills.

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