Pediatricians busy as new school year approaches

There are just two more weeks of summer vacation left for many students in western Massachusetts.
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 3:16 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EAST LONGMEADOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - There are just two more weeks of summer vacation left for many students in western Massachusetts and this is proving to be a busy time for pediatricians in the area.

The first day of school for many area children is just two weeks away, so Western Mass News wanted to find out what local pediatricians are seeing as kids get ready to head back to the classroom. We spoke with Doctor John Kelley of Redwood Pediatrics in East Longmeadow, who told us they’re busy with routine checkups right now.

“…And kids that need certain vaccines for a certain grade entry level,” Kelley said.

Kelley told us they have also seen a few positive COVID-19 cases, along with other viral infections and allergies. With new concerns about polio, after a number of cases were recently detected in New York, we wanted to know if parents should take any extra precautions. Kelley said polio is out there and it is cause for concern. However, he points out that severe symptoms, such as paralysis, are very rare.

“Make sure your kids are vaccinated. If your child is fully vaccinated against polio virus, which means of the initial doses at two, four, and five, six months with a booster after age four, they really have nothing to be concerned about, even if they came in contact with someone who had polio,” Kelley noted.

With the recent spread of monkeypox, we asked if that was something that parents should we worried about in the classroom. Kelley assured Western Mass News that although there have been some pediatric cases, monkeypox is a disease that is extremely difficult to catch.

“You have to have intimate body fluid contact or contact with the lesions on the skin in order to catch it,” Kelley added.

Kelley explained that unlike COVID-19, the monkeypox virus is not something that is airborne.

“If someone walked into my office with monkeypox, which they haven’t, but if they did, it is just the universal precaution and good thing it’s not respiratory spread like COVID. Someone with COVID can cough in the room and I can walk in the room in two minutes later and catch COVID from them,” Kelley said.

Kelley told Western Mass News that he advises all parents to have their kids vaccinated against COVID-19 and boosted when it’s time, especially now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says you do not have to quarantine just because you were exposed.

“Think parents will feel better if the kids are vaccinated and they’ve been exposed, so please get vaccine. The vaccine prevents serious illness, which doesn’t happen very often children, but it does happen and it could be prevented with the vaccine,” Kelley said.