Coronavirus. The news is scary, right?
Remember, headlines are designed to draw your attention, not educate you! Let’s touch base about coronavirus, and if you have any questions or concerns, please call us!
There are actually multiple “coronaviruses” we see every year in our office. These tend to be your usual “cold” viruses – the ones where we give the always popular, “Let it run its course” advice. (We know how annoying this sounds when you have multiple sick kids at home!)
COVID-19 is a new strain of this virus family, one that seems to be more aggressive. Thankfully, to this point, there have been no pediatric deaths attributed to COVID-19. (This is where we all let out a quick sigh of relief).
While this is good news for our children, COVID-19 can be rather nasty for the elderly and for those with other medical problems or compromised immune systems. Because of this there are some common sense steps we should take to limit its spread. More on that below.
But first, what does a coronavirus infection look like? For the most part, it looks like the common cold or flu – cough, runny nose, and perhaps fever. Treatment is – you guessed it – rest, staying hydrated, Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen (Ibuprofen is only for those older than 6 months), gentle nasal suctioning for babies, and a humidifier. (Good movies help). At this point, there are no medications for COVID-19.
So what do we do? Stay calm! We want to avoid what has happened in other countries where communities have flooded local clinics and emergency departments. If you or your child have mild symptoms, stay home and don’t share them! Once your kiddo is feeling better, has been fever free for 72 hours, and doesn’t have a disruptive cough that would wake a hibernating bear, you’re okay to head back to school.
Keep in mind that most outpatient clinics cannot test for COVID-19, so please do not call or schedule an appointment just to check.
When should you bring your child with cold symptoms to see us?
- Fever (100.4 F or higher) in kids 2 months and younger, or fever lasting longer than 4-5 days
- Trouble breathing, shortness of breath, barking cough, wheezing
- Dehydration (often presenting with urinating less than 2-3 times per day)
- Sore throat with no runny nose and cough
- Ear pain (especially if lasting longer than 2 days)
What else can you do?
Wash those grimy hands! Cover your cough! Perhaps offer a celebratory elbow at your next Grizzlies game instead of a high five!
Please call us if you have any questions, and if the situation changes, we will let you know. Thanks again for the privilege of caring for your children!
- The doctors and staff of Pediatrics East