Coronavirus Resources

What to Do When Your Child Tests Positive for COVID-19

Hero Mom Comforts Her Sick Teenage Daughter on the Couch at Home.

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For the past two years, we’ve all been overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic and have had our lives turned upside-down. When it comes to our kids, we want them to stay as healthy and happy as possible during such unusual times.

But what happens if your child does test positive for COVID-19? This is a frightening question for many parents around the globe. We’re here to help you navigate the overload of ever-changing information, giving you the best advice to help you care for your child during their illness, while avoiding spreading it to others.

Here are some tips that may help ease your mind so you can focus on getting your child better.

Stay Calm (for Their Health and Yours)

As parents, it’s normal to worry any time our kids get sick. But we encourage you not to panic if your child tests positive for COVID-19. Evidence suggests that COVID-19 is becoming a much milder virus in otherwise healthy children, like a cold or mild flu, and most kids make a full recovery at home.

As with any virus, keep your child comfortable by treating their symptoms, giving them plenty of fluids to drink and the appropriate dosages of any over-the-counter pain medicines. Be sure to monitor their symptoms and tell their doctor if they continue to feel worse over the next few days after testing positive.

If your child isn’t eating, drinking, breathing or acting normally, or has a high-risk condition or immunosuppression, please tell your pediatrician. In the unlikely event that your child shows any emergency warning signs, such as trouble breathing, seek medical care immediately.

Isolate for At Least Five Days

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, they’ll need to isolate for five full days along with every family member in the same household. This means don’t leave home at all — receiving medical care is the only exception. Consider getting all family members tested.

If your child has symptoms, start counting days one day after symptoms begin. If your child isn’t experiencing symptoms, start counting days one day after a positive test result.

Your child may need to isolate for a longer period of time and may be eligible for certain treatments for COVID-19 if he or she has a problem with their immune system. If your child has an immune compromising condition, notify your doctor when symptoms develop in order to begin available treatments as soon as possible.

Wear a Mask for Five Days After Isolation

If after five full days of isolation, your child’s symptoms are improving and they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicines, they may end isolation and return to school. They must wear a well-fitted mask at all times for an additional five days, making 10 days in all. If your child is under two years old, and can’t or won’t wear a mask, they must isolate for another five days.

Your child’s school or daycare may have more extensive requirements for returning to the classroom; please honor those rules and stay in touch with their teachers and providers.

Get Your Family Vaccinated

The best way to keep your children (ages 5-11) and family (ages 12 and older) safe from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated when you’re no longer sick. Talk to your family doctor about the ideal time to get your vaccinations. The CDC recommends everyone ages 5 and older should get a vaccine to protect them from coronavirus. You can do this at a local pharmacy or doctor’s office. You may need to schedule an appointment. You can search for a pediatrician here.

Getting sick with COVID-19 offers some protection from future illness, but all currently available vaccines give most people the highest level of protection against the virus. With increasing rates of COVID-19 infection in children, vaccines and boosters provide a great opportunity to protect your family from COVID-19 and help slow the spread of the virus.

Care That’s Specially Designed for Kids

At AdventHealth for Children, we know the precious years of childhood pave the way to a healthy future. That’s why we’re all about their whole-person health from the start. Should you need urgent care or emergency care for your kids, we offer state-of-the-art, child-friendly urgent/emergency pediatric care in convenient locations across Central Florida. We’re here with our specially trained team to attend to your little ones with the best care possible to heal them in body, mind and spirit. Learn more about caring for and protecting your family from COVID-19 here.