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clinic and illness specific information

accessing care | visitor restrictions | surgery during COVID-19 | COVID-19 resources | COVID-19 faqs | ways to help | clinic and illness specific information

We want to ensure that our families with children who have chronic conditions feel supported during this time. That includes how you can visit with your care team, how to care for your child at home, and providing you resources with more information related to your child’s condition. Your care team is always here for you, so please reach out to us if you have any questions.

asthma

are asthma patients at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19?
Asthma does not appear to be a strong risk factor for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, it is important to maintain good asthma control for a couple of reasons:

  1. To minimize the risk of an exacerbation (the asthma becoming worse)
  2. Poor asthma control can mean a visit to the hospital, which could lead to exposure to COVID-19.

We agree with expert groups that patients with asthma should continue taking their regular controller medications, including inhaled glucocorticoids, to keep their asthma under optimal control. For patients with mild asthma who are only taking an inhaled glucocorticoid periodically, such as in the setting of a viral respiratory tract infection or during the pollen allergy season, we advise that they take the controller medication daily at this time.

Frequent hand washing, keeping the hands off of the face, social distancing, and physical isolation are essential factors in helping to mitigate COVID-19 spread.

how should medication be handled during this time?
Do not stop taking your asthma medications without talking to your health care provider. There is no data to demonstrate any clear evidence of increased risk of disease or severity of disease for those with asthma. However, it is important that all patients with asthma take their medications and keep their asthma under control. There is also no data to indicate that taking corticosteroids (orally or inhaled) for asthma increases risk of poor outcome from COVID-19. So, as of now there is no reason to stop taking your controller medications, including inhaled corticosteroids, and also oral systemic steroids if needed for an asthma exacerbation.

is it safe for my asthmatic child to wear a mask?
The CDC now recommends the use of cloth face coverings when you leave home to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. A face covering can catch droplets from your mouth and nose so you do not spread germs to people nearby. It is recommended to use material that can be machine washed and dried without damage. A face covering may need multiple layers. Make sure your face covering blocks the light but still allows you to breathe through it. Infants, however, should not wear face coverings for safety reasons. If there are questions of whether your young child should wear a mask please consult with your pediatrician.

if a nebulizer is used at home, could it spread the coronavirus through the air (even if I don't know I have it)?
Use of nebulized medications should be avoided, if at all possible, because of the risk of aerosolizing SARS-CoV2 and enhancing disease spread. Ask us about other options to using nebulized aerosolized medication. The use of an inhaler with a spacer and mask is the preferred method of inhaled medication delivery. If using a nebulizer for aerosolized medication, limit the number of people in the room. And, others in the room should wear a facial covering. This is to help decrease the risk of spread of any virus.

what steps should I take if my child with asthma develops COVID-19 symptoms?
Your child should always follow their individualized asthma action plan. If there are concerning symptoms, please contact your provider. If your child is having severe difficulty breathing, call 911 to seek immediate medical attention. If possible, anyone with concerning symptoms should limit contact with others to avoid spreading a potential viral illness to others.

are asthma patients being seen in office or by video visits?
We continue to encourage social distancing and safety. We have been doing many follow-up appointments via video visits. Our clinic remains open to see patients in person as needed. If you have questions or if your child is showing concerning symptoms, please call us and we will determine if your child should be seen in person, or if a video visit is appropriate. If, however, your child is in distress, please call 911 or go to the closest medical facility for attention. You should not keep your child at home if they need medical attention.

cystic fibrosis

what are my options for my child’s appointment?
If you are symptomatic, we would like to continue seeing your child in-person or through a video visit.

is there anything special I should do to care for my child at home?
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation recommends that people with CF maintain their regular daily care regimens.

We would also like to get our patients set up with FEV1 meters. These provide the lung function information from the spirometry testing done that we currently do prior to visits. We are working on getting access to quality home spirometers and will keep you updated when we are closer to this capability.

where should I go for more information specific to CF?
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has posted FAQs to address key concerns from the CF community about COVID-19. We also encourage you to refer to the CDC for the most up-to-date information.

diabetes/endocrinology

when and how do I seek care? what should I do at home?
We are currently doing video visits for non-urgent care, like your regular follow-up visit. Please go to the emergency department if your child has any illness that is causing vomiting, or if your child has ketones that are not treatable at home.

At home, continue a normal schedule of monitoring/supervising your child’s care.

are video visits available?
Yes, for all endocrinology patients. We are able to follow up with our families like we would in an in-person visit.

how can I reach my care team?
Use MyKidsChart, or call us. If you don’t have a MyKidsChart account, sign up here!

are children with diabetes at higher risk for COVID-19?
They are not at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. Patients with diabetes who contract COVID-19 need to monitor their blood sugars and ketones more closely to avoid going into diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

are children with adrenal insufficiency at higher risk for COVID-19?
They are not at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. Patients with adrenal insufficiency who contract COVID-19 need to give stress doses of their Cortef as directed.

should I stock up on medications or supplies?
No, but you should make sure you have all your supplies on hand. Do not wait until you are out, because the pharmacy may need a couple of days to get your prescription filled.

should my child continue taking their medication as normal?
Yes, it is more important than ever to continue a normal medication schedule. 

what resources can I go to for more information?
JDRF has great resource for patients with type 1 diabetes. 

ENT (ear, nose and throat)

which ENT procedures require a COVID-19 test?
Patients that require a bedside nasopharyngoscopy will need to be tested for COVID-19 before their procedure. Some conditions that might require a nasopharyngoscopy include nasal foreign body, noisy breathing (stridor, laryngomalacia, tracheomalacia), voice problems and vocal cord dysfunction. When you schedule your procedure with us, we will provide you with additional details about the COVID-19 test.

are there video visits available?
Yes, video visits are available for all ENT patients. However, our schedulers will determine if a video visit is right for your child when making your appointment. To make an appointment, call 937-641-4647.

how can I determine if my child’s ENT issue is urgent?
If you are not sure if your child's condition needs urgent care, call the ENT clinic at 937-641-4647 and we will advise you. We can determine if you should come in for a visit or see one of our clinicians via video visit.

is it OK to delay my post-operative appointment?
We will contact you to determine if your post-operative (after surgery) appointment can be done virtually or if it should be done in person. It is important to keep your appointment unless otherwise told it is OK to delay care.

hematology/oncology

what are my options for my child’s appointment?
If your child is actively receiving treatment for a medical condition, we would like to continue seeing your child in-person. Video visits are available for non-urgent visits. However, our medical staff will determine if a video visit is right for your child when making your appointment. To make an appointment, call 937-641-3111.

how can I reach my care team?
Use MyKidsChart or call your medical team at 937- 641-3111 if you need an urgent question answered. If you don’t have a MyKidsChart account, sign up here!

is there anything special I should do to care for my child at home?
The hematology/oncology care team recommends that patients maintain their regular daily care regimens as well as follow CDC guidelines. That includes using appropriate precautions such as masking, social distancing and good handwashing.

how should medication be handled during this time?
Patients should continue to take all medications as prescribed.

should infusions/treatments be postponed or rescheduled?
No, patients should continue to receive their infusions/treatments as scheduled. Do not stop or delay these medication schedules on your own without discussing with your hematologist/oncologist.

what steps should I take if my child develops COVID-19 symptoms?
Patients should call the hematology/oncology department at 937- 641-3111 for guidance if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.

where can I go for more resources?

IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)

are IBD patients at higher risk for contracting COVID-19?
There is no evidence to suggest patients with IBD are at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. Dayton Children’s actively participates in quality improvement and research collaboratives specific to COVID-19 that ensure we have the most current information available.

how should medication be handled during this time?
Patients should continue to take all medications as prescribed. Steroids should be avoided. Patients taking steroids should first talk to their doctor about weaning off of this medication.

should infusions/injections be postponed or rescheduled?
No, patients should continue to receive their infusions/injections as scheduled. Do not stop or delay these medication schedules on your own without discussing with your GI physician.

what steps should I take if my child with IBD develops COVID-19 symptoms?
Patients should call their primary care provider for guidance if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath). GI would be happy to work with your primary care provider if questions remain. Please keep your GI team updated once you have contacted your primary care provider.

what should I do if my child with IBD has been exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19?
Patients should call their primary care provider and continue to monitor for symptoms. Notifying GI through MyKidsChart or by phone is appreciated as well. Even if your child develops COVID-19, we most often would recommend continuing medications for IBD.

are IBD patients being seen in-office or by video visits?
We offer both in-office and video visits for our patients with IBD. As a general rule, video visits are reserved for patients who are in remission. As every patient is unique, the decision as to whether an in-office or video visit is most appropriate will be made in collaboration with the patient's managing doctor.

where can I go for more resources?
For the most up-to-date information specific for IBD patients, visit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

neurology/epilepsy

are patients with epilepsy more likely to contract COVID-19?
According to The Epilepsy Foundation, epilepsy is a “family” of many different disorders that lead to seizures. Some people will have easily controlled seizures, have no other health problems, and become seizure-free on medications. Or they may have epilepsy with occasional seizures but no other health problems. For these people, the available data suggests that just having epilepsy alone:

  • Does not increase the risk of getting COVID-19
  • Does not increase the severity of COVID-19

There is no evidence that people with epilepsy alone have a weakened immune system. They should not be considered “immunocompromised” and would not have an “immune deficiency” from having seizures. People with different types of epilepsy, certain causes of epilepsy or other health conditions may have factors affecting their immune system.

what should I do if my child develops a fever, increasing their risk for seizures?
If your child develops a fever, you should monitor and treat the fever as you normally would. Make sure your seizure action plan is up to date. If it includes rescue medications, make sure these are available and not expired. Contact the neurology office or your primary care provider/pediatrician for further guidance.

if my child's seizures are controlled, do we need to keep our appointment?
You should keep your child’s appointment. If you are not comfortable with coming to the office, we do offer video visits.

are there any changes to appointments? are epilepsy patients being seen in-office or by video visits?
We are seeing patients in the office and through video visits.

what are some resources I can go to for more information?
Here are some top resources for patients with epilepsy and other neurological conditions:

orthopedics and sports medicine

what if my child has an urgent orthopedic need, such as a fracture?
If the injury is not an emergency, we can see urgent injuries same day. You can schedule online or call us at 937-641-3010.

can I schedule a video visit rather than an in-person visit for a non-urgent matter?
Yes, however our schedulers will determine if a video visit is right for your child when making your appointment. To make an appointment, call 937-641-3010.

how can I determine if my child’s situation is urgent?
If you are not sure if your child's injury needs urgent care, call orthopedics and sports medicine at 937-641-3010 and we will advise you. We can determine if you should come in for a visit or see one of our clinicians via video visit.

is it OK to delay my post-operative appointment?
We will contact you to determine if your post-operative (after surgery) appointment can be done virtually or if it should be done in person. It is important to keep your appointment unless otherwise told it is OK to delay care. 

pediatric surgery

my child’s surgery was postponed due to COVID-19. will it be rescheduled?
Thank you so much for your patience in postponing your child’s surgery. As you may have heard, the Governor is now allowing surgeries to continue as long as they don’t require an overnight stay. This is because Ohio has slowed the spread of COVID-19, avoided a large number of people coming down with the illness, and conserved and stocked up on all the personal protective equipment needed to safely do surgeries. Dayton Children’s has also made changes to ensure the highest level of safety.

is it safe to have surgery done during the COVID-19 pandemic
Yes, it is safe to have surgery. Dayton Children’s has always cared for children with infectious diseases and has steps in place to contain those illnesses. In addition, we have taken safety above and beyond during this time by providing masks for everyone, restricting visitors, ramping up sanitizing procedures, making social distancing easy and increasing video visits. 

why does my child have to have a COVID-19 test prior to surgery? 
Your family’s safety is our top priority. We want to make sure that your child is healthy before the procedure to ensure the best outcome. Illness can impact the recovery process, so we don’t want to take any chances with your child’s safety. It also helps keep our staff safe so they can continue to care for children. 

what happens if the test is positive? 
If the test is positive, we will call you with those results the night before the scheduled surgery. We will provide next steps, which will include postponing the surgery and following up with your primary care doctor. If you do not have a primary care doctor, we can discuss other options at that time.

will the surgery team also be tested for COVID-19? 
The surgery team is screened every day for temperature and signs of illness. They also practice rigorous infection control procedures and wear the proper protective equipment when caring for your child, to minimize risk of infection from all illnesses, not just COVID-19. 

what if I don’t want to have my temperature taken or wear a mask? 
These items are required for the safety of your family, every family we serve and our staff. If you choose not to follow these procedures, we will not be able to schedule or perform your child’s surgery. 

are video visits available?
Yes, we are able to do video visits for some patients, primarily consults and/or post-op follow up visits.

tracheostomies

A tracheostomy in and of itself does not put one at risk for severe disease. However, like all viral respiratory infections an infection with COVID may result in more secretions.  Children who have tracheostomies due to underlying chronic pulmonary disease or have other conditions such as leukemia, other cancers, congenital heart disease or poorly controlled diabetes are at greater risk for severe disease and must stay in contact with their specialists. Simple precautions that apply to all families should be followed to best protect children with tracheostomies.

  • Social distancing: This is one of the most effective ways to protect your child and family from exposure to COVID-19. This means avoiding public spaces, staying home as much as possible and staying at least 6 feet away from non-family members.
  • Handwashing: Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not availalble and hands aren't visibly dirty, you can use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Remind your child to avoid touching their face. 
  • Taking precautions: Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces, wash dishes and laundry quickly, and keep anyone who shows symptoms of illness in a separate room of the home. This is especially important when members of your home are leaving the home for work or other essential activities.
  • Follow guidelines: Make sure you follow the guidelines from your local health department and other officials who can communicate specifics for the community where you live.
  • Follow the treatment plan: Be consistent with following the treatment plans prescribed by your physician. With an underlying chronic condition, the best way to minimize the potential severity of any infection is by keeping your child as healthy as possible. So, take your medications and do your treatments regularly as prescribed by your doctor.

urology

can I schedule a video visit rather than an in-person visit for a non-urgent matter?
Yes, however our schedulers will determine if a video visit is right for your child when making your appointment. To make an appointment, call 937-641-3466.

how can I reach my care team?
Use MyKidsChart or call us if you need an urgent question answered, like whether your child has a urinary tract infection. If you don’t have a MyKidsChart account, sign up here!

how can I determine if my child’s situation is urgent?
If you are not sure if your child's injury needs urgent care, call the urology clinic at 937-641-3466 and we will advise you. We can determine if you should come in for a visit or see one of our clinicians via video visit.

is it OK to delay my post-operative appointment?
We will contact you to determine if your post-operative (after surgery) appointment can be done virtually or if it should be done in person. It is important to keep your appointment unless otherwise told it is OK to delay care. If your child had a ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction or testicular torsion, we should see them in-person.

where can I go for more information?
You can visit the Urology Care Foundation for more information.