Amid the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, many families are now asking whether or not they should get their children tested for COVID-19.
If you’re in a similar situation, here’s a step-by-step guide of all that you need to know about COVID-19 and testing for children:
Symptoms of COVID-19 in children
Teens and children who have the following symptoms should be tested for COVID-19 without any delay to determine if they have an active infection:
- Abdominal pain
- Breathing difficulty or shortness of breath
- Loss of taste and smell
- Nasal congestion
- Nausea or vomiting
- Poor appetite/feeding
- Sore throat
Children infected by the COVID-19 may have some or all of these non-specific symptoms, but it’s also highly likely that they’re maybe asymptomatic. A recent study estimated that 16 percent of the total infected children were asymptomatic. Identifying this disease is particularly challenging because these signs and symptoms are similar to those of other infections such as influenza or allergic rhinitis.
Types of COVID-19 testing for Children
There are two types of tests you can run on your child for detecting the coronavirus disease and whether it’s in its current or past state:
1. Test for current infection: A diagnostic test
A PCR test is performed using a nasal swab and a saliva sample of the individual getting tested. This test looks for traces of the virus itself at different stages, not the body’s response to it, making it more sensitive.
2. Test for past infection: An antibody test
COVID-19 antibody testing is much like a blood test that detects antibodies. These are traces of protein that the body’s immune system produces automatically to fight the existing infection or any future encounters with the virus.
The results of both these tests are usually available with 24 to 48 hours.
Where to get your child tested
At the A thru Z Pediatrics, we offer PCR and antibody testing for detecting COVID-19 in San Antonio, TX. Our best Pediatrician Stone Oak can guide you further through the process for newborns, children, and adolescents accordingly. Book an appointment at the Medical Center or call to schedule an emergency visit at the Stone Oak clinic.
Managing a positive
If your child has tested positive through the COVID-19 test, you must guide them to take adequate precautionary measures to halt the spread of the virus:
- Isolate your child from any immune-compromised senior citizens or those at a high risk of a severe COVID-19 illness. Keep tabs on everyone in the household for symptoms and immediately seek medical help when required.
- Inform all those who have been in close proximity of your child over the past few days that they have been exposed and should get themselves tested for the same.
Close contact means that you have been with a confirmed case of COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes with less than 6 feet of distance. Even if you don’t have symptoms of the infections, it’s best to get tested after four days of exposure.
- Keep your child at home for at least ten days after testing positive.
- Encourage everyone in the house to wear a mask at all times and wash their hands frequently. It’s also good practice to disinfect all high-touch surfaces in the home.
All in all, you must take care of your child the same way you would if they had caught a cold or flu. They’ll need to rest, take as many fluids as possible, and over-the-counter fever reducers after consultation from a pediatrician. Most children recover well from COVID-19 but don’t delay seeking primary care if they experience dangerous infection symptoms.
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