Should I still take my newborn baby to their 6-week check during the coronavirus outbreak?

Is it safe to go to your baby's 6-week-check when we're all supposed to be staying at home? We have the latest advice from expert GP Dr Philippa Kaye

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In a nutshell: Yes, you should still take your baby for their 6-week-check: this check is really important for your baby’s health and development. But you should phone your doctor’s surgery in advance, in case the timing or location of the check has been changed and/or your baby will be getting their first jabs at the same time.

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What our expert GP says: Our expert family GP Dr Philippa Kaye recommends that you don’t ignore your reminder about your baby’s 6-week-check or assume it isn’t going ahead because of the coronavirus crisis. She says:

Your baby's 6-week-check is really important, so please ring your GP to see how it is working in your surgery
Dr Philippa Kaye, expert family GP

It could be that, because of the extra demand on GPs at the moment, the date and time of your baby’s check may be changed, or the way you access your GP’s surgery may be different.

“You may find, for example,” says Dr Philippa, “that your GP’s surgery may be using a separate waiting room and back entrance for routine but essential appointments, such baby checks.” And she adds:

It's also worth knowing that GP surgeries may be combining your baby's 6-week-check with their 1st immunisations (usually done at 8 weeks)
Dr Philippa Kaye, expert family GP

If the plan, where you live, is to combine 1st immunisations with your baby’s 6-week-check, this may also affect the date and time of your appointment. “So please,” says Dr Philippa, “do call to find out how your GP is offering what your baby needs.”

What happens at your baby’s 6-week-check? 

The 6-week-check is a general check to see how your newborn baby is getting on.

Your doctor will examine your baby, looking at things such as their weight, the size of their head, their hips, their ears and their breathing to make sure everything’s working as it should be.

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About our expert Dr Philippa Kaye

Dr Philippa Kaye works as a GP in both NHS and private practice. She attended Downing College, Cambridge, then took medical studies at Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’s medical schools in London, training in paediatrics, gynaecology, care of the elderly, acute medicine, psychiatry and general practice. Dr Philippa has also written a number of books, including ones on child health, diabetes in childhood and adolescence. She is a mum of 3.

Pics: Getty

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