For the safety of our patients when visiting our offices, we are taking every measure possible to prevent the transmission of infectious and communicable diseases, including Coronavirus.
While we are certainly impacted by and interested in the Coronavirus situation, we remain concerned about the influenza virus. CDC estimates that so far this season, there have been at least 36 million flu illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations, and 22,000 deaths from influenza.
Statistically, it is more likely that a child presenting with cough, congestion, and fever has the flu or another virus rather than the Coronavirus due to the relatively small chance of contracting that disease. Although there are no vaccines or anti-viral treatments available for Coronavirus, we do have flu shots and treatments for influenza at our offices.
First Choice Pediatrics is taking the following precautionary measures at all our locations:
- Increase in frequency of hand washing.
- Supply purchasing which continues to meet our established safety protocols.
- Continual reminders to staff and patients of control measures to stop the spread of germs (covering coughs and sneezes by using a tissue, upper sleeve, or elbow – NOT one’s hand).
- Increased sanitizing of all patient areas (every hour).
- Staff presenting minor cold symptoms will wear masks, and we will be monitoring their condition.
- Upon arrival at the office, patients presenting cold symptoms will be required to wear a mask.
How do we assist our patients during this pandemic?
If a child is experiencing only mild cold symptoms such as cough, congestion, and low-grade fever, there is probably no need for a medical visit. The treatment is supportive as usual for the common cold:
- Rest and hydration
- Nasal saline spray several times per day until nasal congestion/runny nose is resolved
- Tylenol to help control fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit. NEVER aspirin and no ibuprofen.
- Over-the-counter cough syrup for children over 2 years old only to help them sleep. We prefer the best natural medicine for cough and sore throat: honey.
DO NOT GIVE TO CHILDREN 12 MONTHS OLD OR YOUNGER.
When to see a pediatrician?
- When the child’s fever is escalating or not resolving after 3 days
- When the child’s poor appetite prevents proper hydration associated with other symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea, a rash, headaches, earaches, and difficult breathing.
If a child becomes more ill, develops shortness of breath, and might have come in contact with someone who may have Coronavirus, parents should contact us for orientation. Currently only Emergency Departments have the capacity to send tests for Coronavirus. There are no tests available in the Medical Offices or at Urgent Care centers.
When deciding to visit the ER, remember, only high-risk individuals who may have had contact with someone infected with Coronavirus and with the triad of symptoms of FEVER, COUGH, and SHORTNESS OF BREATH will possibly be tested. Be cautious around others and take necessary precautions to help prevent the spread of this disease.