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Drew: More steps to Keep your Children Safe During COVID-19

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By Samuetta Hill Drew

Over the past few weeks, our nation has experienced two events with large groups of people where social distancing has not been practiced to the extent our health care officials desire or recommend. Both events involved a significant number of youth participants. One of these events was a social one and occurred with the reopening of beaches in many states just prior to Memorial Day. The other involved the many protests throughout our nation’s cities after the death of George Floyd, the African-African man killed by police in Minnesota.

Due to the sheer number of unmasked participants involved in both occurrences, it is important to know and understand the symptoms of the COVID – 19 for children. It continues to be the position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that children two years and older should wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when in public settings where it’s difficult to practice social distancing. This is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID – 19 in addition to social distancing, frequent handwashing, and other everyday preventive actions.

A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer but may prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others. The symptoms of COVID – 19 are similar in children and adults. Signs of illness parents should watch for that are consistent with symptoms of COVID – 19, particularly are fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

Call your healthcare provider if you notice these signs and keep your child at home and away from others as much as possible. However, children’s symptoms may also include cold-like warning signs, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have been reported also.

The CDC and partners are investigating cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with COVID – 19. MIS-C has been described as inflammation (swelling) across multiple body systems potentially including the
• heart, lungs, and kidneys
• brain
• skin
• eyes
• gastrointestinal organs

Signs and symptoms of MIS-C include fever and various symptoms such as
• abdominal and neck pain
• vomiting and diarrhea
• rash
• feeling tired

It is important to keep in mind not all children will have the same symptoms. If your child has any of these signs, contact your pediatrician. If your child is showing any emergency warning signs such as trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusions, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face, severe abdominal pain, or other concerning signs, seek emergency care right away.

As the pandemic of the COVID – 19 continues to persist while America continues to reopen, it is essential You Keep an Eye on Safety for you and your entire family including children.