HCA East Florida - May 17, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guide for parents

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause illnesses like the common cold. In December 2019, the new, novel Coronavirus, now called COVID-19 was discovered. Since then and to date, the virus has been confirmed in over 100 countries and territories around the world, including the United States and Florida.

Most people with the virus exhibit mild symptoms while others get extremely sick and require life-saving hospital stays. The mortality rate of COVID-19 is still evolving but initial estimates show that it is more deadly than the flu for people over the age of 80.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are mild to severe respiratory illness including pneumonia, fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you or your child has these symptoms, please call your physician’s office, if you feel they need to be seen.

Are children at high risk for COVID-19?

According to the CDC, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible. Experts suggest that the following people are at higher risk for COVID-19:

  • Older adults.
  • People with serious chronic medical conditions including: heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.

How can you protect your family from the virus?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Encourage your children to sing the “Happy Birthday to you” song twice while washing their hands. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer (one that is 60% or higher alcohol-based).
  • Keep your children and family away from others who are sick or keep them at home if they aren’t feeling well.
  • Clean surfaces in your home using household disinfectants.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid traveling and pay attention to local government updates regarding stay-at-home orders or restrictions.

Should I/my family use a facemask?

The CDC only recommends facemasks for people who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, not for people who are healthy. Additionally, people taking care of someone with COVID-19 may be advised to wear a facemask if they are available.

What should we do if we need to go out in public?

  • Stay at home if you are sick.
  • Maintain social distancing, at least 6 feet between others, to prevent from getting sick.
  • Avoid non-essential travel and public transportation whenever possible.
  • Practice preventative measures (see above).
  • Consider bringing extra supplies like hand sanitizer and/or tissues.

For more information, we invite you to visit the CDC to review resources for parents around COVID-19. Here are a few:

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