Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention

Definition

  • COVID-19 is a viral respiratory infection. It may be widespread in your community.
  • Because it can be serious, you don't want your family to catch it.
  • Here are some tips on how to protect your family.
  • Updated: July 6, 2020

Call or Return If

  • You think you or your child needs to be seen
  • You have other questions or concerns

About This Topic

COVID-19 - How it is Spread

  • COVID-19 is spread from person to person.
  • The virus spreads from respiratory droplets produced when a person coughs or sneezes. The infected droplets can then be inhaled by a nearby person or land on the surface of their eyes.
  • Most infected people also have respiratory secretions on their hands. These secretions get transferred to healthy people on doorknobs, faucet handles etc. The virus then gets transferred to healthy people when they touch their face or rub their eyes.
  • These methods are how most respiratory viruses spread.

COVID-19 Basics

  • COVID-19 Symptoms: The most common symptoms are cough, fever and shortness of breath. Other common symptoms are chills, shivering (shaking), sore throat, muscle pains or body aches, headache, loss of smell and taste. The CDC also includes the following less common symptoms: runny nose, fatigue (tiredness), nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Incubation Period: average 5 days (range 2 to 14 days) after coming in contact with the secretions of a person who has COVID-19.
  • No Symptoms but Infected: Over 20% of infected patients have no symptoms.
  • Mild Infections: 80% of those with symptoms have a mild illness, much like normal flu or a bad cold. The symptoms usually last 2 weeks.
  • Severe Infections: 20% of those with symptoms develop trouble breathing from viral pneumonia. Many of these need to be admitted to the hospital. People with complications generally recover in 3 to 6 weeks.
  • Deaths: Children generally have a mild illness and recover quickly. Pediatric deaths are very rare. Older adults, especially those with chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes or weak immune systems, have the highest death rates. The overall death rate is around 1%.
  • Vaccine: There currently is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Research is on the fast track in many labs. New vaccines usually take at least a year to develop.
  • Treatment: New treatments for severe COVID-19 are becoming available. They are only used on hospitalized patients and are given in a vein (IV).

Trusted Sources for Accurate COVID-19 Information - CDC and AAP

  • To meet the high demand for COVID-19 information, when possible, find your answers online. Here are the most reliable websites:
  • CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
  • American Academy of Pediatrics parent website: www.healthychildren.org
  • Nurse advice lines and medical call centers are needed for sick patient calls.

 

 

 

 

After Care Advice

COVID-19 - How to Protect Yourself and Family from Catching It - The Basics:
  • Wash hands often with soap and water (very important). Always do before you eat.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water is not available. Remember: soap and water work better.
  • Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth unless your hands are clean. Germs on the hands can get into your body this way.
  • Don't share glasses, plates or eating utensils.
  • No longer shake hands. Greet others with a smile and a nod.
  • If your child needs to be seen for an urgent medical problem, do not hesitate to go in. ERs and urgent care sites are safe places. They are well equipped to protect you against the virus. For non-urgent conditions, talk to your doctor's office first.
Social Distancing and COVID-19 Prevention:
  • Avoid any contact with people known to have COVID-19 infection. Avoid talking to or sitting close to them.
  • Social Distancing: Try to stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from anyone who is sick, especially if they are coughing. Also called physical distancing. Avoid crowds because you can't tell who might be sick.
  • If COVID-19 is widespread in your community, try to stay 6 feet away from everyone outside your family unit.
  • Stay at Home Orders: Follow any stay at home (stay in place) orders in your community. Leave your home only for essential needs such as buying food or seeking medical care.
  • After Stay at Home Orders are Lifted: Continue social distancing. Also wear a mask when entering any public building. These precautions will be needed for many months. Your state public health department will decide when they are no longer needed.
Face Masks and COVID-19 Prevention:
  • Sick patients: Must always wear a face mask if need to leave the home. Example: for medical visits. Exception: patients with trouble breathing (CDC). Consider a loose face covering such as a bandana.
  • Well people: As community spread became high, the CDC also recommends face masks or coverings for everyone going outside the home. They are critical if entering a public building, such as a grocery store. Reason: Many people with COVID-19 have no symptoms but can spread the virus.
  • Well People Exceptions: Face mask or covering is optional if outdoors and can avoid being within 6 feet of other people. Examples: on an outdoor walk or run.
  • Age Limits: Face coverings also are not recommended for children under 2 years (CDC).
Keep Your Body Strong:
  • Get your body ready to fight the COVID-19 virus.
  • Get enough sleep (very important)
  • Keep your heart strong. Walk or exercise every day. Take the stairs. Caution: avoid physical exhaustion.
  • Stay well hydrated.
  • Eat healthy meals. Avoid overeating to deal with your fears.
  • Avoid the over-use of anti-fever medicines. Fever fights infections and ramps up your immune system
Keep Your Mind Positive:
  • Live in the present, not the future. The future is where your needless worries live.
  • Stay positive. Use a mantra to reduce your fears, such as "I am strong".
  • Get outdoors. Take daily walks. Go to a park if you have one. Being in nature is good for your immune system.
  • Show love. As long as they are well, hug your children and partner frequently. Speak to them in a kind and loving voice. Love strengthens your immune system.
  • Stay in touch. Use regular phone calls and video chats to stay in touch with those you love.
  • "2-Household Bubble". To reduce social isolation, especially for young children, some families have joined up with one other family for visits. Rules: Both families must agree that they will not have social contacts with any other families. No one in either family can work outside the home. Not approved by CDC but a reasonable family decision.
How to Protect Others - When You or Your Child are Sick:
  • Stay home from school or work if you are sick. Your doctor or local health department will tell you when it is safe to return.
  • Cough and sneeze into your shirt sleeve or inner elbow. Don't cough into your hand or the air.
  • If available, sneeze into a tissue and throw it into trash can.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water. After coughing or sneezing are important times.
  • Don't share glasses, plates or eating utensils.
  • Wear a face mask when around others.
  • Always wear a face mask if you have to leave your home (such as going to a medical facility). Always call first to get approval and careful directions.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2020 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
Article 3205