March 23, 2020

Kids and COVID-19: Pediatric FAQs

Mom shows daughter proper way to wash hands

What Is COVID-19?

COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, is a new respiratory disease thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and can include fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

Are the Symptoms of COVID-19 Different in Children than in Adults?

No, the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms similar to a cold, including fever, runny nose and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported.

Who Is at Risk for COVID-19?

Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date. Those at greatest risk of infection are persons who have been in close contact with a confirmed or symptomatic patient, or those who have been to areas with sustained transmission. Infections in children have been less common, and there is no evidence that children are more susceptible to this virus.

How Can I Protect My Child from Infection?

You and your child can mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by teaching them to do the same things everyone should do to stay healthy:

• Wash your hands often, using either soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid close contact with others who may be sick (coughing or sneezing).
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw that tissue away.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (e.g., tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, desks, toilets, sinks).
• Launder items, including washable plush toys, as necessary in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry them completely.

How Can I Help Prevent Viruses?

Clean your hands and high-touch surfaces in your home frequently. To clean your hands effectively, it should take at least 20 seconds, which is similar to singing the ABC song at a normal tempo or the Happy Birthday song twice. If using hand sanitizer, use enough so that it takes at least 15 seconds before both sides of both hands are completely dry. If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, stay home.

Should Children Wear Masks?

If your child is healthy, there is no need for them to wear a facemask. Only people who have symptoms of illness or who are providing care to those who are ill should wear masks.

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