The new offering could provide convenience to parents and guardians along with potential relief to overwhelmed hospitals and clinics.
Throughout the past two and half years - hospitals, including Seattle Children's, reported capacity issues. This is in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic and hospitals reporting being overwhelmed due to high numbers of patients taking up beds they no longer need as they wait for transfers to long-term care facilities.
Currently, a coalition of state healthcare workers is urging lawmakers to pass staffing standards that would help set new limits on patients.
When it comes to Seattle Children's new virtual urgent care - parents or guardians in Washington state can schedule an appointment seven days a week and attend from the comfort and privacy of their home alongside their child.
The child must be in Washington at the time of the virtual appointment due to licensing requirements, according to Seattle Children's.
It's recommended the parent or guardian choose a quiet and private space where a door can be closed. The appointment can be accessed with a laptop or tablet, or cell phone which would require an application download.
Seattle Children's said kids and teens will be seen by the same providers who treat kids at their in-person urgent care clinics in Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way, and Seattle.
Illnesses that can be treated through virtual urgent care, according to Seattle Children's, include allergies, cold and flu symptoms, lice, eye infection, bites, skin, rash, infection, sinus infection and more.
Virtual appointments are available seven days a week from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Appointments can be booked online.