BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There has been a lot of talk about how adults can take precautions to prevent COVID-19 but what can children do?
Dr. Hitesh Chheda is an Emergency Room doctor at OLOL Children’s Hospital.
He explained how nobody is immune to this virus. Anyone can get it, pass it on, or have complications from it.
That’s why it’s important for children to follow the CDC’s guidelines like practicing social distancing, washing their hands and staying at home.
Right now, there are only about 5% of positive cases in the pediatric population.
There are cases across the country where COVID-19 is listed as the cause of death in infants and small children.
Dr. Chheda said children younger than four months tend to have weaker immune systems because they have not yet received their vaccinations.
They also haven’t been around long enough to be exposed to many viruses or bacteria.
These are some symptoms to look out for in children.
“If they’re not able to drink so well, they’re dehydrated, they’re not able to catch their breath, they’re exhibiting those signs of shortness of breath, those are the ones we should be more concerned about, and they should either contact their pediatrician, or they should come to the ER at that point to get evaluated," said Chheda.
If your child shows mild symptoms he recommends that they stay home, self-isolate and be given over the counter medicine.
Dr. Chhedda said it’s also important for children to keep up with their regular vaccine schedule.
As for playing outside, there is nothing wrong with that.
He said one of the positives of the Governor’s Stay at Home order is that more families are spending time together outside.
But that should be the extent of your child’s social circle.
“You shouldn’t be hanging out, you shouldn’t be playing with people that you don’t normally live with,” he said. “You should be with your parents, your grandparents if they live in the household with you, but you should not be having playdates right now, you should not be going to the park and playing with other kids, because those are those opportunities for the virus to spread.”
There is testing available for children.
A handful of children have already been tested at the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.
The children that have been tested are those who have shown more severe symptoms and have risks or complications.
Pediatricians can write an order for children to be tested at a COVID-19 drive-thru site.
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