What to Do if Your Child Is Sick During COVID-19 Pandemic
Fear of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is at an all time high, but it appears that children are at low risk to get to become seriously ill. Until now, most of the cases of coronavirus have been in adults. Children who do get it seem to get milder infections than older people and adults.
However, it is important to note that scientists are still learning about COVID-19, so we don’t have enough information about it. Still, many parents and caregivers are wondering what to do if their child falls sick.
What If My Child Gets a Cough or Fever? Could it Be Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Try your best to remain calm.
As soon as possible, talk to your healthcare provider if you notice flu like symptoms
- Reach out to your health care provider:
- Call your child’s doctor. Your doctor knows your child’s history and will know how to guide you immediately. They will ask you if your child has been around someone with coronavirus and what their current symptoms are. They will also ask you to come to the clinic as soon as possible.
- Telehealth Visit. If it is not possible to go see your healthcare provider, they may conduct a health checkup via telehealth.
- Keep your children home. It is highly advisable to keep young children away from germs and infections. This will also prevent the spreading of germs. If your doctor suspects that your child might have coronavirus, then the whole family has to stay home.
- Keep your pets away from your child as much as possible.
- Discourage visits from other people to your home to see your child.
- If possible, encourage your child to use a separate bathroom than from other members of the family. Wipe the bathroom down with a powerful disinfectant as much as possible.
- Encourage everyone at home to wash their hands as often as possible. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Disinfect things that get touched a lot (door knobs, switches, toys, remote controls and phones) Do this twice a day.
- Give your child plenty of rest and encourage them to drink liquids like hearty soups like the French onion soup
- Monitor your child’s progress and signs that it is getting worse (fast breathing, trouble breathing, not being able to drink liquids, dehydration, and sleepiness and peeing less than usual).
Should I Get My Child Tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
It’s easy to think that the coronavirus signs are an emergency with the nonstop news. But its important to not run to the emergency room at the first sign of a cold or fever. Instead, call your doctor first if your child as the following:
- A cough
- A fever
- Signs of dehydration (not peeing for 8-12 hours, being less active their normal self, no tears when crying)
- Fast breathing
- They will guide you on the next steps
Go to the emergency room if your child:
- Has breathing problems (muscles might be pulling in between their ribs or the nose puffing out with each breath).
- Is turning blue all over
- Is sleepy or confused
How Do Doctors Test Children for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Firstly, it is important to note that experts are still finding out more information about this virus. Therefore, COVID-19 testing mechanism are changing. Healthcare institutions are working together to get tests out to people who need them the most.
Doctors first send a mucus sample from the nose and back of the throat to a lab. If the child coughs up mucus, the doctor will send that to the lab too.
If you think your child has COVID-19, call your doctor immediately. They will guide you on the next steps immediately.
How Is Coronavirus (COVID-19) Treated?
At the moment, there is no medicine or vaccine for coronavirus. Most children with the illness, including most adults, get better with complete rest, fever-decreasing medicines and fluids.
What Else Should I Be Doing?
Encourage these habits with your children and family:
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (personal hygiene is important)
- Cough into their arms and not their hands and fingers
- Discourage your child from meeting people who are sick