Parents in Cork are being urged to reach out to their local public health nurse for support if they have any concerns about their child’s development.
While public health nurses usually carry out a number of scheduled early childhood appointments such as developmental assessments, many of these are currently paused because of the current Covid-19 restrictions and Covid-19 related demands on services.
The purpose of these assessments is to see if a child is growing and developing skills that are suitable for their age and similar to children of the same age.
It also allows parents and guardians an opportunity to discuss any concerns they may have and to refer a child to other healthcare services if required.
A spokesperson for Cork Kerry Community Healthcare said it is hoped that these appointments will recommence shortly, but in the meantime, it is reminding new parents and parents of younger children that they can contact their local public health nurse for support if they have any concerns about their child’s development.
"We know how important these appointments are for children, and how reassuring they can be for parents,” said Director of Public Health Nursing for North Lee, Nicola Brett.
"If you don’t have your PHN’s phone number or if they have been redeployed, you can contact your local Public Health Nursing Department on:
- South Lee 021 4923915
- North Lee 021 4923891
- North Cork 022 58700
- West Cork 028 40428
“The Public Health Nurse can discuss your concerns over the phone or refer you on to other health specialists if necessary".
Public Health Nurse for South Lee, Aine O Sullivan added: "While these developmental assessments are paused, there are still plenty of activities which parents can do at home with their children to support their development. We also recommend that you look at the HSE website mychild.ie, where there’s lot of very useful and easy-to-follow advice about child development at different ages, nutrition, safety in the home, dental health, speech and social and emotional development"
Parents and guardians can access useful books on mychild.ie.
In addition, parents are advised that public health nurses are still visiting new babies and their parents after their discharge from maternity hospitals.
Parents should still contact their GP to arrange visits for their vaccines at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 13 months, a Cork Kerry Community Healthcare spokesperson said.