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1/19/22blog post

tips for giving your child an at-home COVID-19 test

With the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in our community, it’s likely that you’ve done an at-home COVID-19 test or know someone who has. And, through a new program from the federal government, families can now receive four COVID-19 at-home tests per household.

If your child has been exposed to COVID-19 or is exhibiting symptoms, such as a cough, fever or runny nose, it’s important to test them to limit further transmission and seek appropriate care.

A negative result may be required before your child returns to school or their favorite sport. But, where do you even begin when it comes to swabbing your kiddo for the virus?

Kristy Greer, certified child life specialist at Dayton Children’s, offers some tips to make your at-home COVID test as easy as possible, for everyone involved!

  • Be honest with your child and explain things to them in a way they can understand. For young children, this might mean waiting until you’re about to do the test before giving them information. For older kids, 12 and over, they may need a little more detail and time to process the information.
     
  • To avoid your child pulling back when you approach them with the swab, give your child a chance to stand up against a wall or sit in a chair to avoid resistance.
     
  • Explain to your child why it’s so important to get tested. By doing this test, you can help keep your friends, your grandparents, and our community healthy.
     
  • If you are testing multiple kids, have your most brave kid or your oldest child go first to set an example for the others. If you think they may be anxious, keep kids separated while giving the tests.
     
  • Demonstrate and explain to them what it's going to look like and what's going to happen. You can do this with their favorite stuffed animal, a doll or an action figure that you have at home, and use something as simple as a Q-tip.
  • Have your kid take big breaths in and out and then ask them if they want to count down and maybe even close their eyes.
     
  • To motivate them to sit still for the test, provide praise or a reward after it’s over. For example, maybe let them choose dinner that night or give them the chance to play their favorite game.