What Parents Should Know About Coronavirus

Questions about coronavirus and your family? Call the Connecticut Children’s Pediatric COVID-19 Hotline at 833.226.2362

UPDATE: Starting March 16, 2020, there are new rules and restrictions for patients and visitors at all Connecticut Children’s locations. Before you visit, read about rules and restrictions.

With coronavirus on everyone’s minds, we know parents are looking for advice to keep kids healthy.
John R. Schreiber, MD, MPH, Connecticut Children’s interim chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, joins the blog to answer your questions.

Is there any information on coronavirus that’s specific to kids?

While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date.

Most children with confirmed COVID-19 experienced mild symptoms such as runny nose, fever and cough — similar to a common cold. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported.

In late April, some health systems in the U.S. and U.K. began reporting cases of a mysterious inflammatory illness in kids, which may be linked to coronavirus. Many of the symptoms look like other typical childhood illnesses, and vary from child to child. The new illness appears to be rare, but it can be serious if left untreated.

Call a doctor immediately if your child has:

  • High, prolonged fever: temperature of 101 degrees or more for more than three days
  • Difficulty feeding (infants) or is too sick to drink fluids
  • Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Cracked lips
  • Reddish eyes (similar to pinkeye)
  • Rash
  • Swollen glands/lymph nodes
  • Change in skin color (becoming pale, patchy and/or blue)
  • Racing heart or chest pain
  • Decreased amount or frequency of urine
  • Lethargy, irritability or confusion

Learn more here.

Are there any special steps parents should take to keep children healthy?

Coronavirus spreads very easily from close person-to-person contact. To protect your child and community, you should keep your family at home as much as possible, limit your contact to just the people you live with, and practice great hygiene.

  • Wash hands — theirs and yours — often and well with soap and water. (How well? Sing the “happy birthday” song twice!)
  • Make sure everyone covers their mouth when they cough or sneeze, either by coughing into a tissue or their elbow.
  • Regularly clean the surfaces in your home that get a lot of contact, like doorknobs, light switches and the refrigerator handle. Read these tips for disinfecting your baby’s gear.
  • Follow local executive orders to stay home and limit your contact to immediate family. Read social distancing FAQs.
  • Wear a mask in public settings, especially in places where it’s hard to guarantee six feet of personal space (like the grocery store or a doctor’s waiting room). You can find tips on making your own cloth mask at cdc.gov/covid19.
  • Call ahead to your pediatrician with any symptoms or questions, or call Connecticut Children’s Pediatric COVID-19 Hotline at 833.226.2362. Our clinicians are available 24/7 to answer your questions, and if appropriate, may be able to schedule a Video Visit with one of our pediatric experts.

> Want help getting your family through COVID-19? Check out our School Closure Kit

Anything else parents should know?

  • Read our physician-in-chief’s answers to your coronavirus FAQs.
  • To speak directly with one of our clinicians, call our Pediatric COVID-19 Hotline at 833.226.2362.
  • For the latest information about Connecticut, call 211, text CTCOVID to 898211, or visit ct.gov/coronavirus.
  • Connecticut Children’s is working closely with the CDC, the nation’s leading public health institute. We recommend their website for the latest news and advice from public health experts: cdc.gov/coronavirus.

> Learn more about coronavirus

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