You have probably heard that children are less susceptible to COVID-19. However, it is understandable that parents are concerned for their children in regard to a novel virus that we are still learning about. Here is a summary of frequently asked questions parents have asked about the virus based on research provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Should my child wear a mask?
Children 2 years or older should wear a mask or cloth covering over their nose and mouth when in public. Of course, getting a toddler to wear a mask may present a challenge. Having a fabric they choose, letting them “help” make their mask if you make a homemade mask, and explaining that you will wear one too may help.
The CDC recommends wearing a mask in addition to social distancing, NOT in place of social distancing. Remember that the incubation period for the virus is around two weeks in some cases. So even if your child has no symptoms, wearing a covering could protect them from spreading the virus if he or she is asymptomatic.
Do children with COVID-19 have different symptoms than adults?
The symptoms of COVID-19 are the same for adults and children. Children, however, usually have milder symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, including cough, fever and runny nose. Some have also reported vomiting and diarrhea.
Parents of children with underlying medical conditions and special healthcare needs should be cautious. We are still learning if certain conditions put children at higher risk.
How do I keep my child safe during the COVID-19 outbreak?
Practice the same advice given to adults. Limit your child’s contact with others outside of the home and practice social distancing. Limit your child’s interaction with elder adults and those at high risk as much as possible. Although COVID-19 may be milder for children, children often spread illnesses due to not having a hygiene routine.
Help children to develop a good hygiene routine by observing you. For younger children, you may which to teach them songs about handwashing or show them cartoons about developing a good hygiene routine. Slightly older children may benefit from videos
Children should not be going to playdates and other activities. If you must take your child to daycare because you are required to work outside of your home in an essential business, ensure your daycare is working to maintain your child’s safety at this time. The CDC has given special guidance for how daycare centers should operate during the COVID-19 outbreak.
No matter what, try to remain calm and limit your young child’s exposure to media. This is a difficult, confusing time for all of us. Maintaining a happy home and making the most of the situation by creating good memories of this time for children is so important. If you need ideas of how to thrive while isolating, check out this recent article.
For more resources on COVID-19, visit: ccmhhealth.com/covid-19-resources.
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