We’re here to help. If you have concerns about your child’s health as it relates to COVID-19, you can use our COVID-19 Symptom Checker. It includes scenarios for kids of all ages, and actionable advice for seeking care based on symptoms recorded.
Note: Like with any other illness, patients over 50, children or adults with a chronic health condition such as asthma or heart disease, and children or adults with suppressed immune systems (chemotherapy, organ transplant, or immune deficiency) will be at a higher risk of contracting and getting seriously ill from this virus.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Shortness of Breath
Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and typically show up 2-14 days after exposure. It’s important to note that we’re still in the flu season in the United States. Symptoms of influenza and COVID-19 have so much overlap that it’s nearly impossible to differentiate on symptoms alone. Though symptoms are similar, it’s important to note that the flu and COVID-19 are not the same.
Just as with other illnesses, such as influenza, the majority of deaths occur in adults over 50 or those with chronic medical conditions, and children or adults with suppressed immune systems. While there’s no vaccine for COVID-19 at this time, there are other ways to protect yourself. Getting vaccinated for influenza and pneumonia could help you or your child lower the chances of a secondary infection should you be diagnosed with COVID-19.
What should I do if I think my kids or I have COVID-19?
Non-CDC laboratories have started to offer COVID-19 testing. For children, this involves a deep nose snot sample with a tiny foam swab, and results are usually available within a few days. We recommend testing for everyone meeting criteria for high level of concern (fever +/- cough + exposure) or (fever + cough + travel to an area with high levels of community spread) as outlined above. If you’re worried but don’t meet those criteria, getting tested for more common illnesses such as influenza is a good first step.
At Brave Care, we have rapid tests available for both the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), another common respiratory illness in children. We also provide in-vehicle testing in our parking lot for these, as well as COVID-19. Please call us (or your physician’s office) before arrival so we can provide the best care for you and protect our staff and other patients.
General concern for COVID is low unless you or your child have:
Fever +- Cough + Exposure
This means there are signs of illness (fever or respiratory problems including cough, wheezing, or trouble breathing) AND you’ve come in contact with someone known to have the virus or someone in an area where the virus is circulating who’s displaying the symptoms above.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States:
Fever + Cough + Travel
This means there are signs of illness (fever AND respiratory problems including cough, wheezing, or trouble breathing) AND you have traveled to an area known to have community transmission within the last 14 days. Check the CDC’s latest travel advisory information here.
Countries with community spread of COVID-19:
There’s also a global travel advisory for anyone at higher risk for severe symptoms. This includes patients over 50, children or adults with a chronic health condition such as asthma or heart disease, and children or adults with suppressed immune systems (chemotherapy, organ transplant, or immune deficiency).
Fever + Severe Respiratory Illness + Hospitalization
This means you or your child have a fever with severe lower respiratory illness, such as pneumonia, requiring admission to a hospital or intensive care unit.
There is no evidence that children are more susceptible to COVID-19. In fact, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 have occurred in adults. Infections in children have been reported, including in very young children. Based on information available for other viruses, such as the SARS coronavirus, infection in children is relatively uncommon.
What you should know
A new coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, emerged in Wuhan City, China in December, 2019. To date, the number of cases is in the hundreds of thousands globally, and this number is expected to climb. In the United States, we have seen the emergence of community spread in several states, and the number of people affected is likely higher than the number of confirmed cases.
Extensive community spread—contracting the virus without known exposure—has been noted in most of Europe, China, South Korea, and Iran. We've included more information, suggestions, and resources below.
The truth about face masks
Despite images you may have noticed circulating, face masks are not currently recommended as a form of prevention. Why? Common surgical masks are designed to keep germs from going out, not coming in. Unnecessary stockpiling of masks creates a shortage for people who really need them—both COVID-19 patients and those who care for them.
Note: Heavier duty respirator masks (N-95) require precise fitting to be effective, and are currently only recommended for healthcare providers treating patients who are likely to be or have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Tips for preventing illness
Wash hands with mild soap and water, or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Minimize exposure to other sick kids.
Teach your kiddos to cough and sneeze into the crook of their arm, and to avoid putting their hands in their mouths (especially in public).
Clean and disinfect your home more frequently.
Limit unnecessary travel and cancel travel plans to areas with high infection rates. Find the latest travel advisory information from the CDC.
Consider getting a flu shot if you haven’t already
Make sure your child received the recommended vaccine for pneumonia (PCV-13)
Limit unnecessary exposure to others and keep gatherings to less than 10 people
Try to stay at least six feet away from people while in public places
Staying healthy and prepared
Specifically for this illness, there’s no reason to stock up on months worth of food and water at this time. That said, preparedness is always a good idea and could help you and others in the event of an emergency.
Consider obtaining a small extra supply of important prescriptions or over-the-counter medicine like tylenol or ibuprofen. Shopping for some extra non-perishable food and water now could help avoid unnecessary trips in the future if COVID-19 activity gets worse.