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Health Information For Parents
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, we’re learning more about the virus and how to protect ourselves from it. Key steps include:
As stay-at-home orders ease, wearing face coverings in public will be even more important. But because children must be over age 2 to wear them, parents might wonder how they can help protect their babies and toddlers.
The main reason to wear a face covering (or face mask) is to protect other people. Wearing one prevents the wearer from possibly spreading coronavirus to others.
Many people infected with coronavirus don’t know they are because they don’t have symptoms. By covering their face in public, anyone who has the virus is much less likely to pass it to others. So, even though children under 2 years old can’t wear face coverings, they’re protected from infection when people around them do.
A face covering also can protect the person wearing it. If everyone wears a mask when out in public, fewer people will get sick.
Babies and toddlers under 2 years old shouldn’t wear a face covering because:
While most COVID-19 infections have been diagnosed in adults, kids can get infected. In children, the virus sometimes causes a mild illness, and often causes no symptoms at all. But some babies and children have gotten very sick from the virus, sometimes weeks after becoming infected. Babies and toddlers can’t wear a face covering, so it’s important to protect them in other ways.
You can protect your little ones by keeping your family home and away from others as much as possible. But you may need to go out because you’re an essential worker, or to buy food, access medical care, or get a breath of fresh air.
At home and in public, do all you can to help stop the spread of the virus:
Yes. Doctors’ offices are taking steps to keep patients safe. These include regular deep cleaning, limiting the number of people in waiting areas, screening people who enter the building, and requiring masks for anyone over 2 years old.
When you call, ask the staff what they’re doing to keep patients safe so you can be prepared. For example, they may allow only one parent or caregiver to go with the child.
During this time, stay in touch with your child’s doctor about:
Vaccines and well visits. Keeping your child’s vaccines up to date is a key way to keep your child healthy. Ask how your health care provider is giving vaccines and doing regular checkups. Some do well visits through telehealth while others might postpone an in-person visit. For newborns or children with complex medical conditions, they may want to schedule an in-person visit right away. They will work with you to answer your questions and make sure your child gets any needed vaccines and checkups.
Sick visits. If you think your child is sick, don’t wait to get care. Call your doctor for advice or instructions.
Call 911 right away if your child might have a health emergency. Signs include your child turning blue, not breathing, being very sleepy or hard to wake up, or being unconscious.
People are wearing masks to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Some toddlers and young children may feel uneasy about masks. Here’s how to reassure your child.
Now that coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading through communities in many countries, the best way to fight this spread is for everyone to practice social distancing. Here’s what that means.
There’s still much to learn about COVID-19. Still, parents wonder what to do if their child gets sick during the pandemic. Here’s what doctors say to do if your child has coronavirus symptoms.
We’re learning more every day about coronavirus (COVID-19). Here are some answers to questions about coronavirus and pregnancy.
Mothers with coronavirus (COVID-19) can still breastfeed their babies or give expressed breast milk. Here’s what else the experts say.
Many people – kids and adults – are worried about coronavirus (COVID-19). But anxiety about it doesn’t have to get the upper hand. Here’s how to calm fears and focus on good things.
Washing your hands well and often is the best way to keep from getting sick. Here’s how to teach this all-important habit to your kids.
These age-specific guides can help you be prepared for and keep track of your well-child visits.
Immunizations have protected millions of children from potentially deadly diseases. Learn about immunizations and find out exactly what they do – and what they don’t.
Which vaccines does your child need and when? Use this immunization schedule as a handy reference.
Telehealth is changing health care. Find out how things like video doctor visits can benefit you and your family.
We’re learning more about coronavirus (COVID-19) every day. Here are answers to some questions you may have about symptoms, care, and protecting your family.
Should you head to the ER when your child is hurt or ill? What about an urgent care center? Different problems need different levels of care, and you have many options.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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