COVID-19 Information For Parents

Updated 3/27

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory infection that can cause fever, cough, muscle aches, and difficult breathing. Currently-available scientific data and anecdotal reports indicate that children are protected from severe illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

Most children will have symptoms similar to those that occur with the common cold and some may show no symptoms at all. Mild symptoms in children and can be treated like symptoms of the common cold – for example Tylenol or ibuprofen as needed for fever or pain.  Make sure to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

Like many other viruses, COVID-19 is believed to be spread person-to-person by coughing or sneezing.  The best way to prevent infection with COVID-19, flu, and other viruses that cause the common cold is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or by using alcohol-based hand sanitizer.  Please also cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, stay home when you are sick, and avoid contact with others who are sick.

Learn more about COVID-19

Protect Yourself and Others

We can all do our part to help protect those in our community, particularly those who are elderly or have chronic health conditions. Children can help too! Talk to your children about washing their hands, properly and often, and teach them to “cover their coughs.” It is also recommended that persons with cold symptoms stay home, so as not to spread illness at school or at work. Learn more about how to protect yourself and others. 

Learn more from our local health department on how to protect your family and our community.

Updated Office Procedures

To help decrease the spread of COVID-19 within our community, Forest Park Pediatrics is implementing special procedures for this unique time. These procedures are based on the emphasis of “Social Distancing” and “Excellent Hygiene.”  However, it is important to note, that due to the rapidly evolving nature of this emerging situation, we are likely to update our procedures over the next few weeks to help keep our patients and families safe.

These are the current changes we will implement within our offices:

  1. To minimize risk and exposure, you may be offered a virtual visit for your child. Please complete and return a consent form for a virtual visits: PDF; Microsoft Word
  2. Upon calling to schedule a sick visit appointment, a triage nurse will ask specific questions to help identify if the patient is at higher risk for COVID-19 infection. These questions include: any cough, documented fever over 100.4F, difficulty breathing and any recent travel or known exposure. In an attempt to limit potential exposures in our office, we will try to manage mild upper-respiratory infection symptoms by phone if possible.
  3. For the next several weeks, we will schedule well visits in the morning and sick visits in the afternoon. Since we are aware some sick visits will not be able to wait until the afternoon, we will designate some exam rooms for sick visits only.
  4. As we arrange currently-scheduled patients to accommodate our new scheduling template, we may ask parents to reschedule well visits for healthy children over 2yo to later in the spring or summer and, except for infants, we will not be scheduling new well visits prior to May 1st, 2020 unless approved by the primary physician.
  5. For the time being, in order to safeguard our patients and staff, we ask that families limit one parent or approved adult to accompany the patient and try to avoid bringing siblings to the appointment. We understand that while schools are closed there may be limited resources for childcare, but any reduction of visitors to our office is appreciated.
  6. While in our office, we highly encourage all patients and families to use hand sanitizer or wash hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. In addition, to decrease viral spread, we will be removing all books and toys from our exam rooms.  We encourage parents to bring their own form of entertainment to their child’s appointment, e.g. books, toys, crayons/paper or devices.
  7. To help protect our providers and staff, you will likely notice staff wearing gloves, masks and goggles for certain patient interactions. We encourage you to mention this to your child prior to his or her appointment to minimize concerns or fears.  We will continue to do our best to make kids feel comfortable during their visit at our practice.

Testing

It is unlikely we will have the capability to test for this virus here at Forest Park Pediatrics in the near future. Due to a nationwide shortage in testing, our area is currently only testing those with a positive travel history or who have had close contact with someone being tested or already diagnosed with COVID-19.

If your child has symptoms and a known exposure to COVID-19 or has recently traveled internationally, PLEASE inform us of this prior to leaving home. We will likely direct you to contact the health department or will consult with an infectious disease specialist.

The St. Louis County Health Department can be reached at 314-615-0500. The Missouri Department of Health can be reached at 877-435-8411. The Illinois Department of Health can be reached 800-889-3931. Learn more about testing in the U.S.

Talking About COVID-19

Children are not immune to the anxiety that can come widespread news coverage of this disease. Here is more information about how to talk to your child about COVID-19.