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1/20/22blog post

caring for kids with COVID at home

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is more prevalent in children than ever before and the reactions to these infections vary greatly. When your child receives a positive test result for COVID it can be a little scary, but remember to treat your child, not the positive test. Most COVID infections in children are mild and with minimal complications. You can treat the infection like a cold or the flu and do the following for these symptoms:

  • discomfort: It's important to make sure your child gets plenty of fluids. It's also acceptable to administer Tylenol or Motrin to treat any discomfort. However, doctors do not recommend over-the-counter cough and cold medications for children under 5.

  • congestion: If your child is feeling congested, try nasal saline, a warm bath, or a shower. Now is also the time to teach them how to blow their nose when needed. 

don't forget:

  • Prioritize rest. Your children need to stay home until they are feeling better. They should also have had at least 24 hours free from fever without the help of Tylenol and Motrin. It’s also important that your child isolates according to CDC guidelines.   

  • Be very observant of their behaviors.  If your child's behavior shows that they are getting worse instead of better, or you have concerns about their lungs or ears – you should take them to your pediatrician as soon as possible. On the other hand, if your child is rambunctious and active, although this may be hard for your energy levels, this is a great sign of their health.

While most children may have mild cases, there are times when a COVID infection may land a child in the hospital, and there are few discernable differences for why it happens to one child over another. Two-thirds of the patients admitted who tested positive have had an underlying condition. For many of our patients who are immunocompromised or have underlying medical conditions, COVID can cause very serious complications. 

At the end of the day, despite our best efforts, we can only do so much to care for COVID infections at home. That’s why Dayton Children’s Hospital and its urgent care clinics are here when all else fails. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to call your pediatrician and ask questions. Your child's pediatrician likely knows them and their medical history the best and can provide answers to your concerns from a personal place. Rely on Dayton Children’s professionals to go above and beyond for your child’s health during these uncertain times.