Salt Lake City, UT — (ReleaseWire) — 02/25/2022 — A child testing positive for COVID-19 test can be alarming and stressful. But there are ways parents can help a child and their families during the illness and times of isolation, said Dr. Neal Davis, pediatrician and medical director of pediatric community-based care for Intermountain Healthcare.
“It can feel a bit overwhelming for a parent to take care of a child who has COVID while trying to keep themselves and others safe inside the home,” Dr. Davis said. “It’s important to take things one day at a time, lean on members of your community for support, and follow recommended precautions within reason the best that you can.”
Here are some tips for parents and caregivers:
Depending on the age of your child, talk about COVID in a calm, honest way, and give them an opportunity to ask questions, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. Explain what they can expect to happen next, how they can help others stay healthy including by wearing a mask and isolating in a decentralized area of the home whenever possible and within reason.
While kids often experience COVID symptoms for a few days and most feel better after a week, the child will need to isolate at least 5 days and wear a mask for five days after the isolation period, according to the CDC. This quarantine and Isolation calculator can help parents determine when to start and stop isolation.
COVID symptoms can make a child feel lousy. Cough and fever are the most common symptoms of COVID in children, but symptoms also can include chest pain, sore throat, changes in the skin such as discolored areas on the feet and hands, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, muscle aches and fatigue.
Parents can focus on helping their child feel better by making sure they’re drinking lots of fluids, and talking to their provider about whether over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen can be helpful.
The CDC recommends caregivers who observe these warning signs in their loved one to seek emergency medical care immediately:
– Trouble breathing
– Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
– New confusion
– Inability to wake or stay awake
– Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone.
Children may need help with coping and isolation. The American Academy of Pediatrics has resources on how to support your child’s mental health during COVID-19, and the CDC has resources including a children’s activity book to help younger kids cope.
“It’s important to continue checking in on your child’s emotional wellbeing during their illness as well as their physical wellbeing, and to make sure to practice self-care if you’re caring for a sick child,” Dr. Davis said.
In terms of prevention, it’s best to continue good hand hygiene, stay home when you’re sick, and for eligible children and adults to get the COVID vaccine, Dr. Davis said.
For more information, visit Intermountainhealthcare.org/COVID.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Located in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada, Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, the Intermountain Medical Group with some 2,700 employed physicians and advanced care practitioners, a health plans division called SelectHealth, Homecare, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs.
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