What is COVID-19?

COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, is a new respiratory disease thought to spread mainly from person-to-person via droplets—including through coughs, sneezes and saliva.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and can include fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

Are the symptoms of COVID-19 different in children than in adults?

No, the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms similar to a cold, including fever, runny nose and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported.

Who is at risk for COVID-19?

Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date. Those at greatest risk of infection are persons who have been in close contact with a confirmed or symptomatic patient, or those who have been to areas with sustained transmission. Infections in children have been less common and there is no evidence that children are more susceptible to this virus.

How can I protect my child from infection?

You and your child can lessen the spread of COVID-19 by teaching them to do the same things everyone should do to stay healthy.

  • Wash your hands often, using either soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer using at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with others who may be sick (coughing or sneezing).
  • Practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with an elbow or a tissue and throw that tissue away.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (e.g., tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, desks, toilets, sinks).
  • Launder items, including washable plush toys, as necessary in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry them completely.

How can I help prevent viruses?

Clean your hands and high-touch surfaces in your home frequently. To clean your hands effectively, it should take at least 20 seconds, which is similar to singing the ABC song at a normal tempo or the happy birthday song twice. If using hand sanitizer, use enough so that it takes at least 15 seconds before both sides of both hands are completely dry. If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, stay home.

Should children wear masks?

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends that everyone wear a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. The cloth face coverings can be made out of low-cost household items and should not be surgical masks or N95 respirators as those should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.

The CDC also recommends that you wear a cloth face covering if you are sick. If you are caring for others who are unable to wear a face covering (e.g. for health reasons), you should wear a face covering when you are in the same room with them.

Where can I get the most updated information about COVID-19?

The CDC has a robust website. The CDC also houses responses to commonly asked questions on their website.

For information related to Methodist Healthcare hospitals, visit our COVID-19 hub.

Updated May 7, 2020