First things first, you can breathe. If your child does have COVID-19 (the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, also known as coronavirus), the silver lining is that the virus appears to be mild in children. More good news: you do not need a definitive COVID-19 diagnosis to treat this bug effectively.
Stay in Isolation
Call your doctor for advice if you think that your child has been exposed to coronavirus. Your doctor may advise you to schedule a test or they may ask you to self-isolate at home until your child has been fever-free for 24 hours and it’s been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared.
It’s safest to acknowledge that because a member of your household is feverish, that everyone living under the same roof is now at higher risk of carrying the same bug (whatever it is). During this uncertain time, it’s best for your whole family to self-isolate for 14 days, which is the incubation period of the coronavirus. If any of you absolutely must go out, wear a face mask.
Feel Better at Home
If your kiddo is well enough to be at home, recovery falls in line with many other illnesses – rest and hydrate.
We do not have a vaccine or any medication specifically for this novel coronavirus, but Tylenol or ibuprofen are okay if your child’s fever is making him/her uncomfortable.
Aside from that, ensure s/he is drinking plenty of fluids – this will make your child feel better and recover faster. Water, ginger ale, popsicles, half-strength gatorade, are all great options for hydrating.
Rest and sleep are always vital when your body is fighting off an illness. If you’ve got a little one who needs extra snuggling, wear a mask in an effort to avoid joining them in this battle. If possible, whichever family member is sick should be kept in a room alone and s/he should put a mask on if around other members of the family.
Know When to Worry
Signs and symptoms of coronavirus started with a small, simple list. Day by day, every symptom your child may have has been added to this list and it’s hard to know when to worry or what to watch for.
Losing your sense of taste and/or smell is the outlier when it comes to COVID-19. Your child may experience this even with a mild infection and you’re likely isolating at home. This should self-resolve as your child recovers from the illness.
If your child experiences any of the following, life-threatening symptoms, seek help immediately:
- Increasing shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Bluish-gray lips/nose
- Confusion or inability to wake
- Pain or pressure in his/her chest
If you head to the emergency room in lieu of calling 911, call them on your way so they can prepare for your arrival.
If your child has underlying conditions such as diabetes, heart or lung disease, be on alert and don’t hesitate to reach out for help sooner than others might.