With so much going on this summer, we have to adjust to so many “new” norms. COVID-19 is a moving target; however, each day, we are getting one step closer to hitting it. Below are some of the questions we, as Pediatricians, are hearing and what we think the answers are.
1. Should my children go to school in the Fall?
Yes, we believe that this Fall, children should return to school full-time and will be better off at school than trying to learn at home. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently published several articles supporting the return to school this fall by helping the schools establish guidelines to keep students, teachers, and staff members safe. Some of these safety procedures may include wearing face masks, social distancing, grab and go lunches, temperature checks, and frequent hand washing. Another fantastic resource for returning to school comes from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, whom we believe has laid out the proper procedures to go back to school in a very doable fashion.
2. Should my child wear a face mask in public/at school?
Yes, we believe all children over the age of 2 should wear some form of face coverings while out in public or at school. Each age group will have some exceptions, mostly in the 2-6-year-old age group, but a cloth face covering over the nose and mouth is a safe way to avoid spreading COVID-19.
3. How dangerous is COVID-19 to children?
The good news here is that MOST children who get COVID-19 do well with it. They may experience a few days of fever, headaches, and some body aches—much like the symptoms of the Flu. The younger babies, under 10 weeks of age, are the ones at the highest risk, along with any child with a chronic illness. We at the Baton Rouge Clinic, to date, have had very few admissions of otherwise healthy children to the hospital and have seen no deaths amongst our pediatric patients.
4. What are the rules about quarantine and testing if my child or I come in contact with a positive COVID-19 person?
We, at the Baton Rouge Clinic, follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations that include NOT testing asymptomatic direct contact persons and NOT retesting previously positive people to return to work, school, or other activities. We do support 14 days of home quarantine for exposed persons, which include monitoring for symptoms and frequent temperature checks at least twice a day for fever. If at any time during the 14 days, any symptoms develop, the person should be tested. We also strongly support social distancing, which will undoubtedly decrease a person’s overall risk of coming into contact with a COVID positive person.