What to do if my child has COVID-19?

Why is it important to stay calm?

Children are highly sensitive and can easily tune in to the emotions of the adults around them. This allows a child to react like a mirror reflecting the emotions of nearby adults (for example, responding panicked to panic, or reacting calmly to an adult in control).

You must be attentive to your child’s needs and emotions and respond to them with sensitivity, patience, understanding, and optimism.

Likewise, you must take care of yourself and try to maintain mental and physical health habits. Your well-being has a positive impact on your child.We invite you to follow these recommendations:

  • Try to stay calm.
  • The patient must remain the entire time in an isolated room.
  • Your child must refrain from participating in family or community group activities (lunches, dinners, etc.).
  • High-risk people should not occupy the house:
    • People older than 60 years old.
    • People with diabetes.
    • People with high blood pressure.
    • People who have suffered cerebrovascular accidents (heart attacks or thrombi).
    • Pregnant women.
    • Immunocompromised people (AIDS, tuberculosis, autoimmune diseases, liver disease, post-transplant patients, etc.).
  • Monitor their symptoms to see if you may need further medical help, for example, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, confusion or inability to wake up, bluish lips or face, drowsiness, fast breathing, not being able to drink a lot of fluids, or showing signs of dehydration, such as urinating less than usual.

Home care is recommended because it allows only the most critically ill to occupy hospital beds. Likewise, it is more humane, less stressful for the patient and their caregivers, more comfortable, eats better-tasting food, and the patient is not exposed to the risk of added hospital infections.

  • Your child should use a different bathroom than everyone else. If this is not possible, please clean it after each use.
  • All members of your family should understand and carry out basic hygiene and prevention measures for COVID-19:
    • Avoid crowds.
    • Refrain from shaking hands, kisses, and hugs.
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Wash your hands regularly and correctly.
    • Use antibacterial gel when it is not possible to wash your hands.
    • Wear a face mask if you’re sick (24 hours a day).
    • Wear a disposable ventilator if you are caring for a COVID-19 patient.
    • Periodically disinfect surfaces and objects.
    • Sneeze or cough inside your arm. Stay home and isolate.
    • Seek medical help or advice in case of illness.
  • Help your child get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Organize moments for your child to play and relax. Stick to regular routines and schedules as much as possible.
  • Explain to them in an age-appropriate way what is happening and give them clear examples of what they need to do to protect themselves and others.
  • Use household cleaners or disinfecting wipes to clean frequently used items, such as doorknobs, light switches, toys, remote controls, telephones, nightstands, cell phones, and other electronic devices.
  • Wear disposable gloves while handling dirty items.
  • Make sure you have good ventilation in shared areas
  • Place gloves, masks, and other contaminated items in a closed container or bag before disposing of them with the rest of the garbage.

If you feel afraid, it is recommended that you seek support from other adults; talk to them (away from the child) about your fears and anxieties. However, you need to ask for specialized help if these emotions remain after a month or if they increase.

Sources:

  • Kidshealth.org
  • Guía para padres sobre coronavirus. Unicef. 2020.
  • National Center for Inmunization and Respiratory Diseases, Division of Viral Diseases. 2020.