When the pandemic first began, many people delayed non-urgent medical appointments. But Dr. Adewunmi Nuga, a pediatrician and internal medicine physician at Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed) Canyon Park, says it’s time to get those visits back on track.
“It’s safe to come to the clinic. We sanitize after every visit. There aren’t crowds of people in the waiting room. And regular visits — especially for children — are important to keep communication lines open and catch things early,” she says.
Well-child visits make it easier to track a child’s development and notice challenges. These visits also provide a safe space for parents to ask questions.
“No question is too small when it comes to your child. It’s important for their life, so it’s important to me,” Dr. Nuga says.
In isolation it may be harder to notice issues because you can’t compare your child to their peers, and you’re caught up in the grind of day-to-day living. It’s also easy to get worried if your child doesn’t seem to be reaching developmental milestones.
“There’s a wide range that falls under ‘normal,’ and not everything is a cause for worry. But I welcome those questions, because it gives me an opportunity to offer reassurance,” Dr. Nuga says. “At a certain point, we may decide to loop in a specialist and make sure that nothing’s wrong.”
Dr. Nuga sees herself as an advocate for her patients — the person in your corner, putting it all together: coordinating referrals, communicating with specialists, handling medical records and phone calls, and then meeting with patients to go over information from a specialist.
“It can be overwhelming for patients! I can help distill what’s important, what needs to be done first and what can wait.”
Tips for parents of picky eaters
One common concern among parents is their child’s nutrition.
“Kids start life eating just one food, and branch out from there. It’s very common to be picky. Some kids will eat only pizza and chicken nuggets, or only foods that are orange — seriously!”
- Be patient: “Try and try and try again. As long as your child isn’t allergic, just keep offering foods,” Dr. Nuga says. “It’s especially hard when we’re raising our kids in isolation. I know my kids were super picky at home, but would try things their friends were eating at school.”
- Get creative: “If your child doesn’t like broccoli raw, try it roasted. Try it in a soup, dip it in cheese or ranch dressing. Try to have fun with it.”
- Establish a meal and snack routine: “Routines keep us grounded, especially during the pandemic. Having meals at the same hour will help time your child’s hunger, and also set expectations,” Dr. Nuga says. “Involving kids in the process can also make them more eager to try new things.”
- Set a good example: “Kids notice what you’re putting on your own plate, so make sure you’re eating veggies too!” she says. “But don’t be too hard on yourself or your children, and remember to be patient.”
Dr. Nuga’s pediatric and internal medicine practice is open to patients of all ages, from newborns to geriatrics. Make an appointment with Dr. Nuga by calling 425-412-7200 or book online. Find Dr. Nuga at PacMed Canyon Park, 1909 214th St. SE, in Bothell.