KHF Questions & Answers

Questions and Answers

In order to make our members feel comfortable in your response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have compiled the most frequently asked questions from parents such as you. The information provided below is not meant to replace medical advice.

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?

The coronavirus is a new disease and there are many things we do not yet know or understand about the virus. Early research indicates that children are less affected than adults, but this does not mean your child will not contract the disease. Parents still need to be careful during this period of time and watch for any potential signs of the disease. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

The symptoms of coronavirus usually begin 2-14 days after exposure, and often incude fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms that might look like a common cold. Other symptoms may include chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat and sometimes a loss of smell or taste. The symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe.

If your child is experiencing any of the above symptoms, call your pediatrician immediately for guidance on next steps.

How do I know if my child has the coronavirus or if t’s “just a cold or the flu?”

While the coronavirus can “look like” a cold or the flu, the American Academy of Pediatricsrecommends that you speak with your pediatrician immediately if you or your child has been exposed to anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, has traveled to any area that is a “hotspot” for the virus, or is showing the above symptoms. Your pediatrician will help guide you on next steps.

How does the coronavirus spread and what can I do to help prevent my child from being infected with the virus?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus is primarily spread from person-to-person contact when an infected person coughs, sneezes or even talks.

The virus lives in the “respiratory droplets” that are released when these things occur. To avoid coming into contact with those droplets, the CDC reminds us to stay about six feet away from other people. This is known as “social distancing.”

If possible, the CDC also recommends that you and your family wear a cloth face mask in public to reduce your chance of spreading the virus if you have it but may not be experiencing any symptoms. The use of face masks does not necessarily protect you from getting the virus.

The CDC also recommends care and caution when touching surfaces such as doorknobs, counter tops, handles and other hard surfaces and then touching your face, particularly your eyes, mouth or nose. While contact with hard surfaces is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, it is important to be as careful as possible as we learn more and more about the virus every day.

Continue the following measures to protect you and your family:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitizer when you are not able to wash hands
  • Sanitize surfaces in your home with regular cleaning products
  • Do not touch your face and teach your child to do the same
  • Avoid large crowds and wear a cloth face covering when possible

Practice social distancing or personal contact as much as possible

What type of safety measures are you using in your practice in response to the COVID-19 virus?

At (name of your practice) the health and safety of you and your children is our highest priority. As part of our commitment to you, we are following all recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent the presence and spread of the virus in our office, which includes our  care providers and staff. We cannot guarantee a zero-environmental presence of the virus, but we are committed to following the necessary guidelines to protect you as much as possible.

These guidelines include the following:

  • Screening and monitoring of care providers and staff for symptoms of COVID-19
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gowns, gloves and other necessary personal barriers during in-person visits
  • Frequent handwashing and sanitizing by all staff
  • Social distancing by all staff
  • Extra cleaning procedures during the day between patients’ visits
  • Additional deep cleaning of the office after closing, using recommended cleaning products
  • Different schedules and waiting areas for sick and well children
  • Online or telephone registration from the safety of your home, office or car
  • Online or virtual bill pay
  • The ability to wait in your car until the healthcare provider is ready to see your child
  • Limiting the number of individuals who can accompany a child during the visit
  • Encouraging sibling appointments at the same time

Telehealth visits for specific situations, if available

Is your practice offering COVID tests for the disease or for the antibody?

Option 1 Answer

We are currently offering tests for COVID-19. If you believe that your child has symptoms of the virus, please call our office immediately at (number to call) to schedule an appointment.

If you feel this is an emergency, you need to take your child to the nearest emergency room.

Option 2 Answer

We are not currently offering tests for COVID-19 in the office, but will provide you with a referral to a local testing facility. We will be in close contact with the testing facility to receive the results and provide next steps.

If you feel this is an emergency, you need to take your child to the nearest emergency room

Is it safe to delay my child’s vaccinations until COVID-19 has passed?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as many other experts across the United States and world, it is very important to ensure that your child remains healthy through a variety of measures, which includes receiving the appropriate immunizations on time.

We are very fortunate to live in a world that has conquered many vaccine-preventable diseases such as the flu, measles, mumps, whooping cough, diphtheria, polio, chickenpox, hepatitis B and others.

This has been accomplished through the significant use of scheduled immunizations.  While COVID-19 may be very frightening to all of us, it is but one condition that as pediatricians and parents we need to be concerned with when it comes to the health and safety of our children.

Delaying vaccinations at any time could result in another health crisis if we were to experience a significant drop in scheduled immunizations. The result could be multiple outbreaks across our city, state or country.

This is particularly true for newborns and children up to 24 months of age as they should receive immunizations for 14 preventable diseases by age 2.

As your child continues to grow, new immunizations are also important, so all children up to young adulthood should continue to receive their immunizations on time.

If your child has missed a scheduled immunization, it is not too late. Please call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we will accommodate your request as quickly as possible. We want you and your family protected!

How can I find out which immunizations are due?

Answer: Our practice follows the CDC guidelines and schedule for immunizations. If you are unsure which ones your child needs to have now, call our office prior to your appointment and we will be glad to update you. If you are using an online patient portal, you should be able to locate this information in your child’s medical records. You may also access the CDC schedule of immunizations by visiting their website.

Is it safe to delay my child’s well-check appointment until COVID-19 has passed?

Answer: (Name of your practice) represents your child’s medical home by overseeing your child’s health and wellness from birth through young adulthood.  At this particular time, disruptions in daily routines and schedules can result in stress for all family members, including children. A well-check appointment is the perfect time to discuss and share your concerns about your child’s response to the current situation.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends scheduling a visit for your child for the following reasons:

  • Newborn visits after a baby is born
  • To stay up-to-date on immunizations
  • For hearing and vision screenings
  • To monitor growth, blood pressure, and other vital signs
  • To check labs such as for anemia
  • To check on developmental milestones
  • To treat infections or injuries
  • To address adolescent health concerns, such as menstrual care and depression screening.

If your child has missed a scheduled well-check appointment, please call the office.  We will schedule an appointment as quickly as possible.

Option 1 Answer

If you are hesitant to bring your child into the office, we also have the ability to schedule a telehealth appointment. (Statement is optional for those providing telehealth)

Option 2 Answer

If you are hesitant to bring your child to the office, we are looking at different options to provide care, which may include telehealth visits. Please contact us for more information.

If you are concerned about your child’s health at any time, please call your pediatrician.

Should I continue to breastfeed my baby during the pandemic?

According to the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics “breast milk provides protection against many illnesses and is the best source of nutrition for most infants.”

Currently we don’t know if a mother with COVID-19 can spread the virus to her baby, so the decision to breastfeed should include discussions with your family and your healthcare provider before you start, continue or stop breastfeeding. At this point, the limited data says that spread is not likely between an infected mother and a baby.

If you have COVID-19 and choose to breastfeed, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash your hands before each feeding
  • Wear a cloth face covering during breastfeeding
  • Use a dedicated breast pump to express breastmilk
  • Wash your hands before expressing breast milk
  • Wear a cloth face covering during expression
  • Follow recommendations for proper pump cleaning after each use
  • Clean all parts that come into contact with breast milk

If possible, expressed breast milk should be fed to the baby by a healthy caregiver who does not have COVID-19, is not at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and is living in the same home.

If you have any further questions regarding breastfeeding your child, please contact your pediatrician or other healthcare provider.

What is the Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in children that has been connected to COVID-19?

There is a possible connection between COVID-19 and a rare and serious illness called the Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in children (MIC-C). The CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the other health agencies and organizations are watching this situation very closely. Scientists and researchers around the world are working to better understand this condition and how best to treat it.

The current reports indicate that the condition generally shows up several weeks after a child has been diagnosed with COVID-19. However, children that have not been diagnosed with the virus or who have tested negative for the virus, have also experienced this condition. Incidents of children who become seriously ill from the condition are rare. However, if your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, call your pediatrician immediately:

  • Fever which lasts more than 24 hours
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Rash or changes in skin color
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion or extreme sleepiness

“While Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in children sounds frightening, the American Academy of Pediatrics reminds parents that this condition is still very rare.”

Source: from the American Academy of Pediatrics

What do I do if my child becomes sick after hours?

If this is an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department. According to the CDC, emergency departments have infection prevention plans to protect you and your child from getting COVID-19 if your child needs emergency care. Do not delay getting emergency care for your child because of COVID-19.

If this is not an emergency, then follow our standard after-hours process. If you feel you need to visit an urgent care center, please visit to find which centers are open and available for walk-ins. You may also reserve a spot on their website so that you do not have to wait inside the waiting areas.

Due to health and safety concerns, Children’s has the following guidelines in place for a visit to their emergency department or urgent care centers.

  • A screening of all patients and visitors for illness to include a temperature check. No sick visitors will be allowed in a Children’s facility.
  • One caregiver for each child. No other family or visitor will be allowed
  • Required use of masks at all times during the visit
  • Practice of social distancing by staying 6 feet away from other children and visitors
  • Enhanced cleaning measures

If you other questions related to your concerns about COVID-19, please visit the American Academy of Pediatrics information section on COVID-19.

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