Mar 16, 2020

COVID-19 guidance families from Children’s Hospital New Orleans. What is social-distancing, when is a fever worrisome, what to do if your child shows symptoms, and more.

Best Practices to Keep Your Children Healthy:

- Hand Hygiene: Frequent hand washing with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your face or eyes.
- Social distancing: Avoid public spaces like playgrounds, restaurants, churches, and movie theaters.
- Maintain 3–6 feet of distance from others.
- Avoid shaking or touching hands.
- Around the home: Clean frequently-touched surfaces (counters, bathroom sinks, doorknobs, etc).

For Children with Symptoms of Respiratory Illness

What are signs and symptoms of respiratory illness?

- Fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
- Cough.
- Shortness of breath.
- Muscle aches.
- Sore throat.

What should I do if my child is showing these signs and symptoms?

- Home quarantine your child (do not leave the house or yard) until they show no symptoms for 72 hours.
- Avoid close contact with high-risk populations (people 60 years or older or anyone with chronic diseases or respiratory illness).
- Continue implementing the best practices listed above.
- Contact your regular primary care healthcare provider with concerns.

For Children with COVID-19 Exposure
(Children who live with, have had physical contact with, or who have been exposed to secretions of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.)

If your child has no symptoms of respiratory illness:

Keep your child at home for 14 days — your child may leave the home for short intervals (walk in the neighborhood/park), but avoid contact with other individuals (i.e., playgrounds); and continue implementing the best practices listed above.

If your child is showing symptoms of respiratory illness:

Begin home quarantining your child for at least 14 days and until child has no symptoms for 72 hours. Call Children’s Hospital New Orleans Virtual Care line at 504-837-7760 for further guidance. It may be necessary to test your child for COVID-19.

Note: As of March 15, COVID-19 testing is not widely available in our community.

Do I Need to Get My Child Tested for COVID-19?

Most children do not need to be tested. Testing is recommended if your child is displaying symptoms of respiratory illness and has had a known close contact exposure to someone with COVID-19.

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