PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Community members want to protect their children, and local health officials said it is still safe to visit their pediatricians.

Pediatrician, Dr. Rubina Azam with Baldwin Pediatrics in Panama City, confirmed that children are just as susceptible to contracting COVID-19, but said it is still safe to continue working with your pediatricians.

She said the clinic is always thinking of ways to keep their patients healthy while simultaneously protecting them from exposure to the virus. Practices such as telehealth phone calls between physicians and patients to limit traffic through the office and providing vaccines to families in their parked cars. Dr. Azam says it is important to continue vaccinations on schedule.

“In the middle of this pandemic the last thing you want is an outbreak of pertussis, measles, chicken pox, or mumps or anything like that. So we are trying our best to keep our patients healthy, keep them immunized, do their well checks, see them, as best as we can.”

One local mother, Megghan McDougall, told News13 she appreciates the visit from the car approach. She said she hopes society utilizes everything it has learned from these times moving forward.

“I think and hope that’s everyone’s take from all of this is that we can just be more aware and mitigate everyone’s risk from all kinds of germs.”

Dr. Azam said there are ways to boost your child’s health and help their bodies fight any virus, including COVID-19.

“Just make sure your children are eating very healthy, there not eating processed foods, they are not eating a high sugar diet. They are eating home-cooked foods, they are eating lots of vegetables, eating lots of fruits, getting enough sleep, they are still physically active. All these lifestyle habits actually give you a very strong immune system.”

Following social distancing guidelines, eating healthy, and continuing wellness checks will help the community be more prepared and hopefully less scared, said Dr. Azam.

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