AboutKidsHealth

 

 

COVID-19: Information for parents of immunocompromised children and children with chronic medical conditionsCCOVID-19: Information for parents of immunocompromised children and children with chronic medical conditionsCOVID-19: Information for parents of immunocompromised children and children with chronic medical conditionsEnglishInfectious DiseasesChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NAImmune systemConditions and diseasesAdult (19+) CaregiversFever;Cough;Runny nose2021-11-20T05:00:00Z10.000000000000051.1000000000000798.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Children who are immunocompromised and children with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19.</p><p>Children who are immunocompromised and children with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19. The following questions and answers may help you during this outbreak.</p><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>SickKids is safe for you and your child to come to for assessment as directed by your primary care team.</li><li>Children with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk of developing serious illness if they do get COVID-19.</li><li>Washing your hands frequently using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or by using soap and water for 20 seconds will help to prevent you from getting COVID-19.</li><li>Your child should continue to take their regular medications as prescribed by their primary care team unless specifically instructed otherwise.</li></ul>

 

 

 

 

COVID-19: Information for parents of immunocompromised children and children with chronic medical conditions3863.00000000000COVID-19: Information for parents of immunocompromised children and children with chronic medical conditionsCOVID-19: Information for parents of immunocompromised children and children with chronic medical conditionsCEnglishInfectious DiseasesChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NAImmune systemConditions and diseasesAdult (19+) CaregiversFever;Cough;Runny nose2021-11-20T05:00:00Z10.000000000000051.1000000000000798.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Children who are immunocompromised and children with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19.</p><p>Children who are immunocompromised and children with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19. The following questions and answers may help you during this outbreak.</p><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>SickKids is safe for you and your child to come to for assessment as directed by your primary care team.</li><li>Children with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk of developing serious illness if they do get COVID-19.</li><li>Washing your hands frequently using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or by using soap and water for 20 seconds will help to prevent you from getting COVID-19.</li><li>Your child should continue to take their regular medications as prescribed by their primary care team unless specifically instructed otherwise.</li></ul><h2>What is COVID-19?</h2><p>Coronaviruses (CoV) are a common and large family of viruses. Coronaviruses can cause a mild illness such as the common cold to a more severe illness such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs). Most people who become ill with a coronavirus will recover on their own with no specific antiviral treatment.</p><p>A new strain of coronavirus was identified in late 2019 and has spread across the globe, which has been named SARS-CoV-2. The disease that it causes is named COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019). Because there has been worldwide spread of COVID-19, the outbreak was declared a pandemic by the WHO on March 11, 2020.</p><h2>Is my child immunocompromised?</h2><p>Immunocompromised children have weak immune systems. A weak immune system could be caused by many different medical conditions or medications. Some examples include children who have:</p><ul><li>had a solid organ transplant (i.e. heart, kidney, lung, liver, intestinal)</li><li>had a bone marrow transplant</li><li>cancer</li><li>congenital or primary immunodeficiency</li><li>HIV/AIDS</li><li>rheumatological disease</li><li>gastrointestinal disease</li><li>severe burns</li></ul><p>And those who are:</p><ul><li>taking selective immunomodulators (i.e. anti-TNF agents, azathioprine, MMF and all immunosuppressive agents).</li><li>taking long-term steroid therapy</li><li>in a severely malnourished state</li></ul><p>If you are unsure if your child is immunocompromised, please check with your primary care team at the hospital.</p><h2>Is my child at higher risk of getting COVID-19?</h2><p>In general, it has been observed that serious illness from COVID-19 in children is less common than it is in adults.</p><p>Reassuringly, since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been very few reports of immunocompromised children who have developed severe illness from COVID-19. Moreover, in large cohorts of children diagnosed with COVID-19, no association between previous immunosuppressant use and critical care admission was found.</p><p>A small number of studies have suggested, however, that children with underlying chronic health conditions such as obesity, severe neurodisability, chronic respiratory and cardiac conditions may be at higher risk for serious illness compared with other children their age.</p><h2>How do I know if my child has COVID-19?</h2><p>Based on what we have learned so far about COVID-19 and children, it does not appear that immunocompromised children or children with underlying conditions have different symptoms than otherwise healthy children with COVID-19. Immunocompromised children, however, may have symptoms that last longer. Children with underlying medical conditions (as described above) may be more likely to have serious symptoms.</p><p>Your child may have COVID-19 if they have some or all of the following symptoms:</p><ul><li> <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=30&language=English">fever</a></li><li> <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=774&language=English">cough</a> or sneezing</li><li> <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=748&language=English">sore throat</a></li><li>difficulty breathing or fast breathing</li><li>body aches</li><li> <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=29&language=English">headache</a></li><li>chills</li><li>fatigue</li><li> <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=7&language=English">diarrhea</a> and <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=746&language=English">vomiting</a></li><li>runny or stuffy nose that progresses to one of the above symptoms</li><li>loss of the sense of smell or taste</li></ul><p>While fever may be the main symptom, not all children with COVID-19 will have a fever. Some people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. In more severe cases people can have difficulty breathing and pneumonia in one or both lungs.</p><p>There is a rare condition that may be related to COVID-19 that develops in children 1 to 2 months after they have had the infection. This condition is called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). This condition is caused by inflammation in the body that leads to a prolonged fever in the child. There are effective treatments for this condition. Based on what is known so far about MIS-C, it is not likely that immunocompromised children or children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of MIS-C. Read the <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3907&language=English&hub=COVID-19">article on MIS-C</a> to learn more about this condition.</p><h2>Should I come to the hospital if I think my child has COVID-19?</h2><p>If your child has symptoms of COVID-19 contact your primary care team at the hospital before coming. They will help you determine if your child needs to be seen and where you should go.</p><p>You should come to the hospital right away if your child has the following symptoms:</p><ul><li>fast breathing or trouble breathing</li><li>bluish skin color</li><li>not drinking enough fluids</li><li>not waking up or not interacting</li><li>being so irritable that the child does not want to be held</li></ul><p>In an emergency please call an ambulance and tell the emergency services team that you are concerned your child may have a COVID-19 infection.</p><h2>Is testing for COVID-19 available at SickKids?</h2><p>Yes, testing is available at SickKids for children with symptoms that may be consistent with COVID-19. Testing may be indicated as a screen before a planned procedure. A test that is commonly used involves putting a swab into a person’s nostrils in order to get a sample from the back of their nose (referred to as an NP or nasopharyngeal swab). This is the preferred test as it is the most accurate one available at present. If your child has had multiple NP swabs and finds them very distressing, please talk to your health-care provider about the pros and cons to other possible options.</p><p>You may also refer to the most updated Ontario general guidelines for information on who should be tested for COVID-19 and ways of accessing testing.</p><h2>If my child is diagnosed with COVID-19, how long will they be sick?</h2><p>Even at this time, there is still a lot to be learned about COVID-19. Children with weakened immune systems may be sick for a longer period of time than other children. How long will vary from child to child.</p><h2>What are effective measures to prevent COVID-19 spread?</h2><ul><li>Vaccination has been shown to be effective against COVID-19 and to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Individuals who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including children five years of age and older, should receive the vaccine. Read the <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3937&language=English&hub=COVID-19">article on COVID-19 vaccines</a> to learn more about them. </li><li>Like other respiratory viruses, including influenza, it is recommended that you wash your hands frequently by using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or by using soap and water for 20 seconds.</li><li>Limit touching your face, nose and eyes.</li><li>Avoid close contact with people who have a fever or cough. Due to the rates of COVID-19 in our community, Public Health Ontario does not recommend close contact with anyone outside your household.</li><li>Practice cough etiquette by keeping a distance from other people, coughing and sneezing into your sleeve or a tissue or a respiratory mask, and practicing frequent hand washing.</li></ul><h2>Are there any extra precautions that my child or I should be taking?</h2><p>Encourage your child to wash or sanitize their hands frequently. For example, if they are in school, you can provide older children with a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer can be dangerous if swallowed. Be careful to keep it away from young children. Avoid having your child be in close contact with anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19. Be vigilant for signs of infection in your child.</p><h2>Should my child wear a face mask when in public?</h2><p>In accordance with currently available evidence, in order to limit the spread of COVID-19, the use of a face covering or face mask is currently recommended by Public Health Ontario for all individuals in public indoor spaces.</p><p>When visiting SickKids, masks are recommended to children able and willing to wear masks safely – generally children 6 years and older. SickKids is providing masks to all family caregivers and children. Masks will be provided at the Entry Screening desks.</p><h2>Should my child continue on their immunosuppressive medications?</h2><p>Your child should continue to take their regular medications as prescribed unless directed differently by your primary care team at the hospital. Make sure you have enough medication and supplies on hand to last for 30 days, in case you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.</p><h2>Can my child go to school?</h2><p>The majority of children and youth who are immunocompromised or who have underlying medical conditions should be able to safely attend school provided that the appropriate enhanced safety measures are in place. However, it is recommended that parents and caregivers discuss this with the child’s health-care providers so that they can make an informed decision based on individual circumstances. Some schools may remain closed for in-person teaching depending on where you are living and on public health recommendations. For more details and information about sending your child to school, please refer to the <a href="https://www.sickkids.ca/AboutSickKids/Newsroom/Past-News/2020/joint-statement-school-reopening.html">SickKids COVID-19 Guidance for School Reopening</a>.</p><h2>What should I do if I am unwell myself, or my child’s sibling becomes unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 infection?</h2><p>Contact your family doctor or paediatrician as it is recommended that unwell siblings or parents of children who are immunocompromised be tested for COVID-19. It is also advised that in such circumstances you practice physical distancing at home as much as possible. You can also refer to Ontario general guidelines of who should be tested for COVID-19 and ways of accessing testing at <a href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus">https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus</a>.</p> <h2>Should I or my teen who is immunocompromised go to work?</h2><p>Follow public health guidelines and practice social distancing when appropriate. This may include avoiding work environments that involve contact with large groups of people. It is recommended that you or your teen who is immunocompromised try to work from home as much as possible.</p><h2>If my child requires assessment for symptoms other than COVID-19 infection what should we do?</h2><p>Continue to follow the recommendations for getting your child assessed according to your primary care team’s instructions, as you would do normally. For example, if your child is on medication that causes them to have a low white blood cell count and they develop a fever, you should still go to the hospital for assessment and let the primary care team know about your child’s symptoms as per normal procedure.</p><h2>Should I reschedule my upcoming routine appointment?</h2><p>Clinic appointments are being reviewed and many upcoming visits may be rescheduled or moved to virtual care by video or telephone, if possible. Medically necessary appointments will continue. Please contact your primary care team at the hospital for questions regarding your upcoming appointments.</p><h2>Is it safe for my child to come to SickKids?</h2><p>Yes, the hospital is safe for you and your child to go to for assessment as directed by your primary care team. At all times SickKids has clear procedures in place for protecting your child from getting an infection when visiting the hospital. During this time additional measures to protect you and your child have been put in place. Please follow SickKids instructions regarding the number of visitors permitted to accompany your child. Please see <a href="https://www.sickkids.ca/coronavirus"> https://www.sickkids.ca/coronavirus</a> for further information.</p>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/COVID-19--Information_for_parents.jpgCOVID-19: Information for parents of immunocompromised children and children with chronic medical conditionsFalseCOVID-19: Information for parents

Thank you to our sponsors

AboutKidsHealth is proud to partner with the following sponsors as they support our mission to improve the health and wellbeing of children in Canada and around the world by making accessible health care information available via the internet.

Our Sponsors