This guide offers links to reliable information sources and focuses on issues and items of importance to families raising children in these difficult times. Torchlight will review and update this guide periodically to make sure you have the latest information you need to care for your family and yourself.
Information about the coronavirus (and associated COVID-19 infection) continues to change daily. Stories about the spread of the virus and the evolving recommendations for social distancing are rampant in the news and on social media. Unfortunately, not all sources of information are providing accurate and timely intelligence and advice. Follow these recommendations when choosing where to get your information:
Current data indicate that older individuals, those with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, severe asthma, heart, lung, or kidney disease, and individuals with compromised immune systems seem to be at higher risk for developing a serious case of COVID-19.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the pediatric age group may experience milder symptoms of active infection than adults.
Recently, however, health officials have observed a rising number of cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with exposure to COVID-19. While MIS-C is rare, parents should take precautions to limit possible exposure to and spreading of the virus. Studies suggest that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
The CDC recommends that you:
Practicing the following hygiene tips may also be helpful.
The availability of childcare (including daycares, in-person learning, after-school programs, and extra-curricular activities) will likely be impacted by the pandemic for quite some time.
Consider the following as you continue to make arrangements for the 2020-21 school year:
Be aware that no childcare arrangement with individuals outside your own home is risk-free, even if your child’s caregiver(s) follow the recommended guidelines for social distancing.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 won’t be eliminated from the general population anytime soon. As states work to re-open, it’s important to consider that new stay-at-home orders remain a possibility, especially if infection rates begin to rise.
To prepare for the continued possibility of a quarantine or potential COVID-19 infection in your household, consider taking the following steps:
Not all cold or flu-like symptoms are related to COVID-19. The primary symptoms of COVID-19 infection are fever, cough, and difficulty breathing/shortness of breath.
The CDC recommends that you stay at home, except to get medical care. If you or your loved one develops these symptoms, call your doctor. The doctor will recommend whether you should remain recovering in isolation at home, need to be seen in the office, or should go to the hospital for care. Many states are encouraging or mandating that insurance companies allow members, during the pandemic, to use their health insurance for telemedicine appointments as they would for in-person visits.
For most people who will experience a mild form of COVID-19, the CDC recommends:
Recently, health officials have observed a rise in the incidence of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with exposure to COVID-19. MIS-C is a condition in which different body parts – including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs – become inflamed. MIS-C is a rare, but serious condition.
Contact your child’s health care provider immediately if your child is showing symptoms of MIS-C. Be aware that not all children with MIS-C will exhibit all of these symptoms.
Seek emergency care right away, or dial 911 if your child is experiencing:
The CDC recommends the following guidelines for caring for an individual with COVID-19:
If you are a mother breastfeeding an infant, it’s important to understand that, to date, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to your infant via breastmilk, according to the CDC. Most pediatricians recommend continuing to breastfeed during viral infections, since breastmilk provides babies with antibodies that the mother is producing.
Current data indicate that pregnant people might be at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. COVID-19 infection may also increase the risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth. If you are pregnant, stay informed about the CDC’s guidelines for preventing infection, and discuss potential risks with your care provider. For the most up-to-date information, visit the CDC’s webpage: “Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Pregnancy.”
Concern over COVID-19 may make some children feel anxious, especially if they are returning to daycare or school after months of social distancing. Kids may also worry about Mom, Dad, or other loved ones going to work. Parents and caregivers can help by remaining calm and acknowledging an appropriate level of concern without panicking. Remember that children look to the adults in their lives for reassurance – if you are overly worried, chances are they will be, too!
Consider the following tips on how to address COVID-19 with your child:
Torchlight does not provide medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice because of something you read on Torchlight. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911.
Torchlight does not endorse the organizations or technologies mentioned in this document, but offers their information as a sample of the kinds of materials and services that are available.
Contact Torchlight at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.