What to do if parents test positive for COVID-19 and have a dependent child

While COVID-19 is generally not serious in children, especially those under the age of 10, you may still have concerns about how to handle the situation.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the country, many parents are worried about what to do if one or both of them test positive and they have a child to take in charge. In several states, hospitals are full and patients are notified of the home quarantine if they are not critical.

While COVID-19 is generally not serious in children, especially those under the age of 10, you may still have concerns about how to handle the situation. Here are some guidelines you can follow:

Preparation for hospitalization:

1. Identify a caregiver for your child beforehand: If you are a single parent or you and your partner need to be hospitalized but the child does not have the virus, there should be a responsible adult to whom the child can be placed. It could be a family member, neighbor, or professional caregiver. Talk to the person ahead of time about what needs to be done in the emergency and work out the details.

2. Mentally prepare your child: Keep your child informed of the plan without sounding alarmist. Such a situation is bound to be distressing for them as well, and a conversation about the possibility of this happening can help them better manage their anxiety. Speak in a calm and reassuring manner, explaining the process step by step. Repeat that the recovery rate from COVID-19 is high.

3. Talk to the Association for the well-being of residents: Many RWAs have made their own plans for how to contain the coronavirus and what to do if any of them test positive. Work together to find solutions on how to handle the situation with children whose parents have tested positive. If there are quite a few children in need of care, perhaps the RWA can use an empty apartment in the building for a professional caregiver to take care of them. The RWA can also monitor professional caregivers in single-family homes, to make sure the child is well looked after.

According to guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a child who has been in contact with a COVID-19 patient should be quarantined for at least 14 days to ensure they have not caught the infection. They should also be watched for any symptoms.

Prepare for home quarantine

1. Choose a home quarantine plan: If you don’t need hospitalization, you can quarantine yourself at home. This means that you are isolating yourself in your home without passing the virus on to others. Ideally, you will need a room with a toilet and a bathroom only for your use. This will ensure that your contact with others is minimal. If you need to share facilities and one parent is positive but the other is not, consider going to a COVID care center.

2. Minimize the risks: According to the CDC, anyone in the home over the age of 2, able to remove the mask on their own and without breathing problems, should be masked at all times if there is a COVID-19 patient. at home. Surfaces should be disinfected frequently. A distance of at least six feet should be maintained between you and your child. Any item you give the child should be disinfected, except food.

3. Determine the communication: If you have COVID-19, you won’t be able to hug your child or touch them in any way without endangering them. Children, especially younger ones, can find this very difficult. Even if you share the same space, you can consider finding creative and fun ways to communicate, just to liven up the atmosphere. You may be able to talk on the phone (with your child using a device you don’t use), make video calls, or email yourself if you have devices that aren’t shared. Have a family member or friend speak to them regularly on the phone.

4. Be kind to yourself: Remember that you are sick and need to rest. Don’t take more than you can chew. Keep housework to a minimum. Contact support groups or online therapy if you feel like you need to talk to someone about your situation. You can also read how other parents have handled such situations to come up with ideas and stay calm.

5. Watch for symptoms: Watch your symptoms closely and those of the child. If your child is old enough to take temperature measurements, teach him how to do it correctly. The CDC recommends that the temperature be checked twice a day. Also tell the child about other symptoms to watch out for, such as coughing or shortness of breath. Keep a list of emergency contacts, including your health care provider and ambulance numbers, in an accessible place and talk to your child as well.

Also read: India records over 2 lakh cases of COVID-19 in single day, 1,038 new deaths

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