CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) INFORMATION
2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
COVID-19, discovered in December 2019, has now spread throughout the world. While there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, doctors and researchers are learning more about it every day. Here's what we know now and how you can protect your family and others.
**Note** If your child has been exposed to COVID-19, or you are concerned about your child's symptoms, call the office immediately.
ALTHOUGH COVID-19 IS A NEW DISEASE...
...it belongs to a family of coronaviruses that usually cause illnesses like the common cold. Health officials are concerned about the new virus because it's hard to predict its affect on people.
WHO IS MOST AT RISK
Children do not seem to be at higher risk; however, people who are include older adults & people who have chronic medical conditions like:
Heart Disease, Diabetes, Lung Disease, and/or a suppressed immune system.
DOES COVID-19 AFFECT KIDS THE SAME AS ADULTS
Early research suggests that fewer children than adults with COVID-19 get a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or have to be hospitalized. However, severe cases in children is most often in infants less than a year.
DEALING WITH SCHOOL & CHILDCARE CLOSINGS
Many schools and childcare centers are temporarily closed to help slow the spread of the virus. If your children need to stay at home due to the outbreak, see "Working and Learning from Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak" for tips on balancing schooling, working, media time and more.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY
Reduce close contact with others by practicing physical or “social distancing." This means staying home as much as possible and avoiding groups. If you do need to run an essential errand, like going to the grocery store or pharmacy for your family, the CDC recommends wearing a face covering.
Teach kids to cough and sneeze into a tissue (make sure to throw it away after each use!) or to cough and sneeze into their arm or elbow, not their hands.
Clean and disinfect your home as usual using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes.
Wash stuffed animals or other plush toys, following manufacturer's instructions in the warmest water possible and dry them completely.
Avoid touching your face; teach your children to do the same.
Follow local and state guidance on travel and stay at home restrictions.
HOW TO CARE FOR A FAMILY MEMBER
People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are usually able to isolate at home during their illness. However, it may be recommended to take these additional steps:
Separate family members with COVID-19 from others as much as possible. The person with the virus should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Ideally, they should use a separate bathroom, if available. Limit visitors in the house.
Avoid contact with pets. This includes petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food.
Call ahead before visiting the doctor. This will help them take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
Avoid sharing personal household items. Don't share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in the home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
Extra cleaning for all “high-touch" surfaces. These include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipes and follow the instructions on the label.
Monitor symptoms. Call your doctor or health department right away if the illness gets worse.
*** Note *** The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees with the World Health Organization about the use of ibuprofen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, there is not enough evidence to recommend you avoid using ibuprofen, unless you have an underlying medical condition that makes ibuprofen less safe. Using acetaminophen is a reasonable and safe option. In children, the goal should be to improve their overall comfort, monitor their activity, look for signs of serious illness, and make sure they drink enough liquids.
The AAP recommends parents talk with their child's pediatrician about the correct dose before using any medication. Use a medication syringe or dropper to measure the correct amount because they are more reliable than a measuring spoon.
HOW TO TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN
Simple reassurance. Remind children that researchers and doctors are learning as much as they can, as quickly as they can, about the virus and are taking steps to keep everyone safe.
Give them control. It's also a great time to remind your children of what they can do to help – washing their hands often, coughing into a tissue or their sleeves, and getting enough sleep.
Watch for signs of anxiety. Children may not have the words to express their worry, but you may see signs of it. They may get cranky, be more clingy, have trouble sleeping, or seem distracted. Keep the reassurance going and try to stick to your normal routines.
Monitor their media. Keep children away from frightening images.
Be a good role model. COVID-19 doesn't discriminate and neither should we. Ancestry doesn't make someone more susceptible to the virus or more contagious. Stigma & discrimination hurt everyone.
Source American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2020). The information contained on this website should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
© Copyright 2020 American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved.
FAQ511. Copyright April 2020 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists