From Our FCA Primary Care Clinicians… ways to support yourself and your child
during the COVID-19 Outbreak:From Our Primary Care Clinicians on COVID-19
DOES MY CHILD NEED AN APPOINTMENT???
Do you need an office visit? Look through the following FAQ…
- My child has a fever. Do we need to come in?
- If the child is UNDER 12 weeks old, and has a rectal temperature above 100.4 they should be seen either at the office or at the ER for further evaluation. Call us first and we will help.
- If the fever is OVER 105 and DOES NOT RESPOND appropriately to a dose of ibuprofen (motrin, advil) or acetaminophen (tylenol) we should consider office evaluation
- If the fever lasts for MORE THAN 5 days, we should consider an office evaluation.
- If the fever is associated with OTHER symptoms (trouble breathing, specific location of pain in the ear/chest/back/urine) we should consider an office evaluation
- My child has a sore throat. When should I worry about Strep?
- We are more concerned about strep throat when symptoms of headache, stomach ache, and fever have continued for 2-3 days WITHOUT cough.
- As long as treatment for strep is started in the first 10 days of illness, it will adequately prevent against rheumatic heart disease. It is not necessary to start antibiotics in the first 24-48 hours. It is ok to wait (and is sometimes advisable to wait) at least 24-48h with symptoms before coming in for evaluation.
- My child has a runny nose and cough but no fever. Do we need a visit?
- No. We want to see your child if the cough lasts more than 2 weeks, if there is any trouble breathing, or chest pain with vomiting. Otherwise follow our purple-book recommendations for managing cough at home
- Does your child have allergies? Is it mid-March? Remember that allergy season starts before you feel that it is spring. If your child has a history of springtime allergies and has a runny nose, sore throat, and cough but has no fever, consider starting allergy management with claritin, zyrtec, or dimetapp as needed.
- I have a perfectly healthy child scheduled for a well visit. Is it safe to come in?
- We are working VERY HARD to keep the office clean and free of COVID-19. We are setting aside several rooms for well visits and newborn visits to reduce any possible transmission. At this time we do not think you need to reschedule these visits
- We DO ask that you try to limit the extra people in the room. If there is any way to leave siblings at home, we would ask you to do so. This will help keep our “clean” rooms clean and reduce congestion, cough, and illness spread through the office.
- You keep saying “respiratory distress” and “trouble breathing.” What does that mean?
- Respiratory distress or trouble breathing means more than just a stuffy nose. Many children with congestion and stuffy nose sound like they are having trouble, but are otherwise quite well. Trouble breathing will often look like the following:
- Rapid and shallow breathing – more than 40 breaths per minute over the course of 10min or more is fast.
- Children who are using “extra” muscles to breathe – this looks like “sucking in” between the ribs, use of the stomach muscles, flaring of the sides of the nose, or sucking in around the collar bones or at the base of the neck.
- Infants who refuse to eat or drink because they are using all their energy to breathe
- I am really concerned about possible COVID or Flu and I just want to be tested. Can I come to the office for testing that will reassure me?
- If you think you need a test for COVID, DO NOT come to the office. Call the office first and we will guide you on how to proceed.
- Currently testing is very limited, there are no in-office tests that can be done. The only people currently being tested for COVID are those with known contacts or high-risk status who have fever AND cough with respiratory distress. These tests are being done ONLY by the Department of Public Health (DPH) and are currently done in a hospital setting.
- Testing for influenza may be done in the office if it is going to be of clinical significance. We do not recommend routine testing for the flu as it doesn’t really change what we do. The populations that may be tested are those who are at higher risk of the flu including those with severe underlying chronic medical conditions who have had symptoms of flu for less than 48 hours and who are candidates for Tamiflu. If you fall into one of these categories, call us first! Good news – it is almost the end of flu season.
- I’ve heard about quarantine. Is this something I have to do?
- If you are someone who has been tested, is distinctly high risk based on exposures, or live with someone who is quarantined then YES. Please stay home! The quarantine recommendation for COVID symptoms is 14 days. This is because the virus continues to shed and spread for at least 14 days (if not longer) and symptoms often worsen in the second week of disease
- We have no good guidance at this time about whether other viral symptoms should be quarantined and neither the CDC nor DPH has updated recommendations. Within the next few weeks we will have to assume that COVID is just out there. This is a time to practice common sense! If you or your child is sick, has a fever, cough, consistent runny nose, please stay away from other kids/families, stay out of school, stay out of large gatherings.
- How do we keep from getting COVID?
- Unfortunately, there is no perfect, guaranteed way to prevent this illness.
- Wash your hands! This is the best way to reduce your risk. Soap and water and a catchy 20 second song to sing will brighten your day and keep the germs away.
- Cover your mouth when you cough. Preferably cough and sneeze into an elbow and not into your hand!
- Keep your hands off your face – don’t scratch the itch, play with your hair, pick your nose… and if you do touch your face, wash your hands again.