One of the frustrations of the 2019 coronavirus pandemic is the lack of an effective medical playbook, a common issue any time a new illness emerges. The good news for everyone is that children don’t seem to contract serious versions of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Medical professionals don’t yet fully understand the nature of this infection in general, or its effects on children in particular, so it’s best to proceed with caution in everything you do.
Though children seem to have an easier time dealing with COVID-19, you still need to be careful. Katy Pediatric Associates now offers telemedicine appointments so you can minimize your child’s public exposure while maintaining regular pediatric medical care. Here’s what parents need to know about COVID-19 and their children’s health.
Washing their hands
Eyes, nose, and mouth are all entry points for viruses into the body, and since kids are habitually tactile and frequently touching their own faces, the single best way to prevent transmission is encouraging a new urgency for hand washing. This is even more crucial for kids in daycare centers or returning to school.
Cooperation may be an issue with some children, so be sure to set a good example yourself, while delivering a consistent message. When soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol, and be sure to supervise its use.
Sterilizing objects and surfaces
It’s not clear whether this coronavirus transmits to and from surfaces; other respiratory viruses do, so it’s safest to assume the new coronavirus behaves the same way. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains a list of disinfectants suitable for killing the SARS CoV-2 pathogen. Use these on frequently touched surfaces, such as tables, countertops, doorknobs, railings, and more.
Toys can keep younger children’s hands full and away from their faces, so clean these regularly, too. Keep in mind that strong disinfectants can be dangerous for children. Follow instructions for use and store these chemicals safely away from small hands.
Children with other health conditions
If your child is asthmatic, they already have an increased risk of complications to any respiratory infection. There doesn’t appear to be any indication that COVID-19 presents an increased danger to children with asthma, but it’s wise to watch your child carefully so you can react quickly if problems emerge.
Diabetic children likely won’t see increased risk from COVID-19 if their blood sugar levels are well controlled. When glucose levels climb, however, their immune systems suffer. Contact Katy Pediatric Associates if you need help with blood sugar management.
Maintaining immunization schedules
Shelter-in-place orders may have prevented your child’s regular pediatric well-visit schedule. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that child immunizations are down, so now is a good time to review your child’s immunization schedule and discuss a catch-up plan with your Katy Pediatric Associates physician.
While your child may be at little risk even if they contract COVID-19, they could spread the infection to other family members who are more susceptible to its effects. Keep as positive an attitude toward the virus and your prevention efforts as you can, since your child is likely taking their lead from your reactions.
Contact Katy Pediatric Associates if you have questions about your child and the virus, and to get their regular health care back on track. You can call the office at 281-492-7676, or book your appointment online today.