What to do if your child becomes ill in the time of COVID:
Symptoms to watch for
- Major symptoms – fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell
- Minor symptoms – congestion, runny nose, sore throat, headache, body aches, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea.
If your child is sick
If your child develops symptoms of illness, they will need to be seen and evaluated before they return to daycare or school. If they have 1 major or 2 minor symptoms, they will either need a COVID test or will need to quarantine for 10 days if a COVID test is not done (per the local HD/school recommendations). Those who have a proven illness other than COVID (strep, flu, UTI, etc) may be able to return to school without a COVID test. However, we know that in children, co-infections may be more likely so a COVID test may still be necessary.
We are seeing sick children and do offer COVID testing in the office with multiple precautions in place to keep well and sick kids separated.
If your child is exposed (close contact) to a positive person
Your child will need to quarantine for 14 days and monitor for symptoms. You cannot test out of a quarantine (so even if they have a negative COVID test, they must quarantine for 14 days). If they develop symptoms, you should call for further guidance as that may decrease or increase their time in quarantine.
What if my child tests positive for COVID?
Luckily, most children have a mild cold or flu-like illness with COVID. You should treat their symptoms as you would any viral illness. Signs to watch out for include trouble breathing, chest pain, dizziness, neck pain, being very sleepy or confused, or if your child looks very sick.
Some children have been getting a multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) with COVID. It can occur sometimes several weeks after their initial infection. Symptoms to watch for include prolonged fever (>5 days), belly pain, vomiting, neck pain, red eyes, red, cracked lips, swollen hands or feet or swollen lymph nodes.
Athletes >12 years old with moderate to severe symptoms (fever, symptoms >3 days) will also need further testing prior to returning to play due to a possibility of heart damage. If your child tests positive, they will need to quarantine for 10 days and family members will need to quarantine as well. They may return to school after 10 days AND once they have no fever for 24hrs and their symptoms are improving. If they were tested in our office, you will receive documentation for their school stating when they can return.
Why do some people have to quarantine 24 days?
If your child is positive for COVID, they are contagious for 10 days. Which means that the other family members in the house are exposed until their 10 days is over. Therefore, your 14 day quarantine would start after their 10 days of contagiousness is over (14 days from your last exposure). For adults or older teens who can isolate in the house (separate room/bathroom with no exposure), you may be able to start your 14 day quarantine sooner.