A positive result for COVID-19 testing is a scary result to hear, especially when it concerns your child. But with kids back at school and debates still ongoing about the youngest age groups that should get the vaccine, one of your kids can come home with symptoms of COVID-19 while the rest of the house is safe. If you test negative while your child tests positive, the situation has become complicated, with many things to consider. You may be asking yourself: how do I provide them the best care? How do I keep myself and other family members from also getting sick?
If your child has tested positive and you tested negative, you need to turn your house into the safest environment possible for yourself, your infected child, and the rest of your family. Continue reading to learn about what you can do if a child in your house tests positive for COVID-19 and you did not.
COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Your Home
Your home is not adequately prepared to house someone infected with COVID-19 unless you take extra precautions to ensure the virus is contained. Here is a list of safety guidelines to keep everyone safe while one person in the house has COVID:
- Make sure everyone in the house who will enter the room of the infected child or interact with them has a high-quality mask, preferably a KN95 mask or one that has been tested for medical-grade virus filtration against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Schedule everyone else in the house for a COVID-19 test, preferably a PCR test, which produces the most accurate results. Plan to test once at least once a week to prevent the virus from spreading.
- Do not go into the infected person’s room unless you have to and keep them isolated in their room as much as possible. This includes placing food and water outside of the room and letting them get it so you don’t have to go in. Make sure the room they stay in has a door that securely shuts. However, if the child is very young, contact may be inevitable. Make sure your mask fits snugly and consider wearing disposable surgical gloves to minimize contact.
- Anyone who comes in contact with the infected person and anything they touch needs to wash their hands with soap or a sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- If the child must cough or sneeze, make sure they use a kerchief or towel, even while isolated in their room. It’s important to keep the virus out of the air as much as possible since home ventilation systems often recycle air.
- To improve ventilation in the sick child’s room, you can open windows during the day and invest in a filter for your home’s A/C unit. You could also use a dedicated air filtration machine in their room. If that’s too expensive, set up a standing fan in their room and point it out of an open window to keep the air fresher.
- Clean surfaces frequently with disinfectants. Take anything the sick child has interacted with and wash or disinfect it.
- Designate a bathroom for them to use that no one else will. Make sure they understand they have to use their mask on their way to the bathroom, refrain from touching surfaces, and cough into a towel or their elbow to prevent virus particles from getting into the air.
- Wash their clothing separately from the rest of the house on high heat.
- Cancel any visitors to the house as well as any trips you were planning on making to a person considered high risk for a COVID-19 infection, such as the elderly and the unvaccinated.
- Buy an at-home testing kit to stay updated on their infection status.
COVID-19 Emotional Guidelines for Your Home
Safety is not the only concern when a child in the house is sick with COVID-19. It’s also important to keep them happy. Getting COVID-19 may make them feel lonely or scared, so consider how you can help make them feel better in their isolation:
- Make sure they’re always hydrated and have plenty of snacks.
- Give them fun things to do, such as video games, a computer or TV, a charged phone, their favorite books, and anything else that would keep them occupied.
- Connect to them with technology using facetime, text messages, or calls to make sure they don’t feel alone.
- Ask for moral support from neighbors or friends. They can call the sick child and offer their support, hang out with them over facetime, game with them, and more. They can even make you feel better and bring supplies so that you don’t have to leave the house.
When your child tests positive for COVID-19, they need to be isolated for 10 days or until they have no symptoms and test negative in a lab test. Remember that you and everyone in the house is now someone with “close contact” with someone who has been verified as having COVID-19. This could change your ability to visit doctors, travel, go to work, and more, depending on your vaccination status, symptoms, and COVID history.
While it may seem like a long couple of weeks, fully vaccinated individuals can be in the same house as someone with COVID and not get it. Just follow these safety guidelines to give you and your family the best chance of keeping the virus contained while your sick child recovers.
Speedy Sticks is a mobile concierge phlebotomy service that provides at-home blood draws and on-site diagnostic/health screenings for businesses and individuals. One of these is COVID-19 testing which can be performed by one of our specialists. Book an appointment today to make sure you and your family stay safe.
*This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace consulting with a healthcare professional. Please consult with your primary care physician or healthcare provider before engaging in any services offered by Speedy Sticks.