Town Hall Recap- Dr. Ashton-Lazaroae
March 17, 2020
Due to some technical difficulties, Dr. Ashton-Lazaroae from All Pediatrics will be joining us for a second call on Wednesday at 2pm. Please make plans to join us on Facebook live.
Submitted reader questions (I’m going to summarize, you can watch the full responses on her live video here.)
1) Can you have COVID-19 without a fever?
8-10% of cases don’t have a fever, but most do.
2) Is COVID-19 a cold or is it pneumonia?
The common cold is a type of coronavirus, but this COVID-19 strain is novel, so we don’t have immunity. It does present with upper respiratory symptoms.
3) I heard kids cannot get COVID-19, so if my husband and I both get sick and have to go to the hospital, can we take our children with us? We don’t have anyone else to watch them.
Children CAN get COVID-19, it’s typically less severe in them, which is why it’s important to keep them away from at-risk populations that they could easily infect. We want to keep our kids out of the hospital if at all possible because there are a host of other illnesses they could catch if they go.
4) What should I be doing with my child with asthma? With an autoimmune disorder?
You definitely want to be vigilant with handwashing, keep your medications on hand, and talk to your child’s doctor that is responsible for treating their condition. Right now, we don’t have evidence children with asthma are more susceptible.
5) What about playdates? What about playdates outside? What about the playground? Is it safe?
Playdates, even outside, are not going to help us slow the infection rate, so it’s best not to. There is some evidence that COVID-19 can live up to 3 days on outdoor surfaces, so public playgrounds are probably best to avoid, as well.
6) If one person in our family gets sick, is there a way to keep everyone else in the house safe?
For young children who cannot quarantine, probably not. However, if an older child or adult is ill and can quarantine in their room away from the family, it’s possible you could keep the rest of the family from becoming sick.
7) How can I tell if my kids are coughing from pollen or from COVID-19?
Again, the biggest thing to look for is the fever. Additionally, things like a runny nose or red eyes would be allergies, not COVID-19.
8) Should we be telling grandparents/aunts/uncles no hugs and kisses?
YES. First, we should not be having extended family to visit, and if your children are used to that extra attention, make sure you’re giving it to them! But if you have older family members living in your home, you definitely want to limit contact so they do not become ill, as older people experience COVID-19 much more severely.
9) If kids go back to school, should we be sending them with lysol wipes or something? I mean, when will the crisis be fully over? How can we keep them safe when they go back to school?
The schools will not have children return before it is safe to do so. If they go back, you can send a little mini hand sanitizer, but they will be safe and just need to practice regular hygiene like hand washing and covering their coughs and sneezes.
10) How do I know if I need to go to the doctor? Do I go to my regular doctor or to the hospital if I think I have COVID-19?
Call your doctor and ask! But if you are not having resperatory distress, or have a problem you’d regularly go to the ER for, like chest pain or a broken bone, GO TO YOUR REGULAR DOCTOR. We want to avoid overwhelming the emergency medicine options in our country, and for most people, your regular doctor or pediatrician will be able to help you. Avoid urgent care centers as they typically do not separate sick and well patients.
11) I heard they are not testing everyone. Is that true?
It is true that we have a limited number of test kits and are working on figuring out when we will be able to do wide spread testing. Hopefully by the end of the week we’ll have more information on that.
From the Facebook Live Questions:
1) What percentage of children have/has it?
We really don’t know because we aren’t doing widespread testing.
2) Are children experiencing the severe feeling of suffocation that some adults are?
We don’t have a ton of data, but Dr. Ashton did read from one Chinese hospital that of all the children being treated for respiratory distress, less than 2% of children had COVID-19, most had the flu or another problem. So, it is assumed children do not have the severe lung issues adults do.
3) What about taking ibuprofen when you get sick? I have seen a few articles saying no, but I don’t know?
Dr. Ashton said this literally came out over her lunch break, so she checked, and there is minimal evidence to suggest this could impact your lungs if you get COVID-19, so it’s probably safest to stick to Tylenol, but you can always ask your personal physician.
4) Is COVID-19 a concern like RSV in younger/premature babies?
We don’t really have a ton of data on this, but we always want to protect our tiniest babies with extra precaution, so they should not have kisses or people touching their faces, especially older people and siblings, we want to keep them from getting the disease if at all possible, just like we always want to do with premature babies.