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 150 countries and territories around the world, and in all 50 United States.
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's 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.
- Encourage your children to use a tissue when they cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue in the trash. Additionally, you can encourage the 'Dracula method' if they need to cough (cough into their elbow like Dracula would hold his cape).
- Clean surfaces in your home using household disinfectants.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Avoid travel to highly infected areas (We know this may be difficult with spring break coming up. Visit the CDC website to get the latest list of confirmed locations with COVID-19 cases.)
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.
Is it safe to go to public events with my family?
Current guidance states that you should do your best to limit contact with anyone outside of your immediate family. Meetings should be cancelled or held virtually. Following are suggestions from the CDC if you need to go out in public:
- Stay at home if you are sick; keep your child home if they are sick.
- Practice preventative measures (see above).
- Consider bringing extra supplies like hand sanitizer and/or tissues.
Can I take my kids to the playground during the stay in place order?
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health, Colorado state parks will be open during the Stay in Place order. Families will still be able to go outside, including to local parks and outdoor spaces that remain open, and take a walk, run, or bike ride but should continue to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from other people. Playgrounds are closed because they pose a high risk of increasing transmission.
What should I do if someone in my family is having symptoms of COVID-19?
If you believe you or someone in your family has been exposed to COVID-19 and are showing symptoms, call your healthcare provider first so they can help you decide whether that person needs to be tested or evaluated in person.
For more information, we invite you to visit the CDC to review resources for parents around COVID-19.
Here are a few:
- How to talk with your child about COVID-19 (including how to talk about what happens if you or a loved is diagnosed with COVID-19)
- What do I do if my child's school/childcare program is dismissed?