How to Care for Your Child Who Has Tested Positive for COVID-19
Your child tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019), a mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms like a fever, cough and shortness of breath. Your child’s medical team has determined that your child is ready to go home from the hospital. This sheet describes important steps you should take at home.
Your child has tested positive for COVID-19 but you have gotten them to your doctor in time. After treatment at the hospital, your doctor has determined that your child is ready to go home. Here are the steps (according to the Boston Children’s Hospital) you can take at home to ensure full recovery:
What symptoms should I watch out for at home?
- Monitor your child’s temperature/fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath or breathing problems.
- If any of these symptoms get worse, call your child’s doctor immediately.
- If you need to go to the emergency room, let them know where you have been treating your child and the doctor’s name.
How can I help my child to feel better while at home?
Give your child nourishing food, make sure they get plenty of rest, and drink plenty of warm water.
- As per your doctor’s instructions, use medications that reduce fever
- Check your child’s temperature twice a day using a digital thermometer (please wait atleast 4 hours after giving medicines)
- Call your doctor immediately if the temperature is over 38.0 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit).
Stay at home and away from others
- Isolate yourself and your family members from others. Stay home with your child and make sure visitors don’t drop by.
- Make sure your child stays in one room of the house and at least 6 feet away when meeting other members of the family including pets.
- Keep your child away from elderly people at home (grandparents)
- Keep your child away from people with serious medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and lung disease. They are at a higher chance of getting sick.
When can we stop home isolation and resume normal activity?
Typically, children with COVID-19 can leave home when these 3 things have occurred:
- They have had no fever for a minimum 72 hours (3 full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)
- Other symptoms like cough or shortness of breath and reduced and showing signs of improvement
- And A minimum 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
Wear protective gear and practice good hygiene
If possible, designate one healthy family member to care for your child.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after contact with your child. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean your hands.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after coming in contact with your child. Make sure you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and alternatively, use an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer to clean your hands.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth before cleaning your hands.
- In case your child tests positive for COVID-19, your doctor will get give you additional steps to follow.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth unless you have just cleaned your hands.
How should I keep my home free of germs?
- Encourage your child to use a separate bathroom from the rest of the family.
- Clean the bathroom twice a day with disinfectants and close the toilet lid when flushing to make sure germs don’t spread.
- Thoroughly clean frequently used objects including toilets, door handles, faucets, phones, laptops and computers.
- You can use a regular household cleaner or can make your own by mixing 1-part bleach to 9 parts clean water.
- While cleaning your home, use disposable gloves.
- Use separate eating utensils for your child than the rest of the family.
- Wash your child’s clothes separately than the rest of the family.
- Let fresh air into your home by opening the doors and windows if the weather allows it.
Contact your child’s health care providers if the symptoms get worse immediately.
Where can I learn more about COVID-19?