CHLA Taking Care Of Children's Needs During COVID-19


Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is the number one ranked children’s hospital on the West Coast. We treat more than 350 specialty areas for kids only, so we are the experts. We treat everything from broken bones to the most rare and complex diseases. Five of our top specialty areas including cardiology, cancer and orthopaedics, are ranked in the top ten in the nation.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is blessed to have not only some of the best doctors in the world, but our nursing staff, our child life staff, our supportive services like our literally healing book and reading program, our spiritual cares team, art therapy, music therapy, dog therapy really work together to ensure the patient’s and the family’s well-being.

In terms of the supportive services, our child life staff are continuing to facilitate all of those activities for the kids in a safe manner. For example, we can still hold special movie screenings for the patients. But instead, the movies air over the monitor in their rooms instead of on a big TV in a playroom. Dog therapy visits are now virtual, which has become very popular. An iPad is delivered to a patient’s room and there’s a friendly furry face or two waiting on the other side. The patient can talk to the dog’s owner and instruct the dog to do tricks and ‘command’ the dog to eat treats! It’s a wonderful way to for the patients to connect with the outside world while they are in the hospital.

While it’s true that the coronavirus has made many more adults ill than it has kids, the medical community is still learning about the disease.

What we do know is that the pandemic has had an effect on kids in other ways. We are finding that kids aren’t getting the essential care they need because their parents are afraid to bring them to the doctor’s office or the hospital, or in some cases the emergency department. We know that kids are not getting their immunizations on schedule.

Their appointments have been delayed and we know that our hospital and our outpatient clinics are safe places to get that care. Delaying care and delaying immunizations may be just as dangerous as the coronavirus.

For example, what if a child has a recurring high fever and in a non-pandemic world, the parent would likely bring that child to the emergency department? But nowadays, out of fear, the parent chooses to treat the child at home. That high recurrent fever could be a symptom of a severe illness that needs professional medical attention. It’s essential that kids get the care they need when they need it.

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