With the recent global concerns about the latest outbreak of the coronavirus spreading to the US, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of the illness in order to take and maintain precautions with your children. It is also wise to understand information about the virus to avoid over-reacting or panicking. Young ones are very aware of parent emotions and reactions to situations. So, it is a good rule of thumb to remain calm and create a lot of space in conversations where children can voice their concerns or questions in a way that a dialogue may ensue. Being mindful of how to respond in ways that assuage fear or stress and leave children understanding the importance of recognizing the symptoms will create a calm and secure environment.

Coronavirus is a virus found in animals that is transmittable to humans. It is then spread, like the flu, from person to person. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the virus is thought to spread:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The COVID-19 symptoms may be mild to severe and may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you feel you may have been infected, contact your pediatrician/family doctor immediately. When calling with concerns, the office may collect information and advise you on what to do. This may include a quarantine period in order to prevent the spread of the infection.

To reduce the risk of infection, avoid people who are sick or meeting in large groups. If children display signs of sickness, KEEP THEM HOME from school so they will not risk infecting other children. Here are some helpful tips for helping prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Do not cough into your hands.
  • Cover your cough with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Wash your hands often with soapy water for at least 20 seconds (especially after bathroom visits, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing).
  • Use hand sanitizer (with 60% alcohol) if soap and water are unavailable.
  • Avoid touching nose, mouth or eyes.

The above information was sourced from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and can be found online at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html.

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