Children and COVID-19
Encourage students and staff to take every day preventative actions like staying home when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, wearing masks, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and washing hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. We also recommend that students and staff have symptom and temperature screening before entering the building.
High-Risk Conditions for Severe Illness from COVID-19:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
- Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
- Sickle cell disease
- Diabetes mellitus
Children who are medically complex, who have neurologic, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 than other children. The overall death rate is low among children (less than 1% of those who become ill), but the long-term consequences of the disease remain unknown. Other conditions that are less well studied but might put someone in a higher risk category can be found on the CDC website.
Children should be suspected of having COVID- 19 if they have
- fever AND cough or shortness of breath, OR
- cough or shortness of breath and exposure to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
If they had exposure to someone with COVID-19 also look out for less common symptoms like runny or stuffy nose, shortness of breath, or belly trouble like throwing up or diarrhea. Testing may or may not be needed for children with these less common symptoms.
Check your child’s temperature at home every morning using a thermometer. If your child has a temperature of 100.4 or higher, he/she should stay home and be tested for COVID-19 if there is not another clear reason for their fever. Other symptoms to ask your child about or monitor for are cough, runny or stuffy nose, shortness of breath, or belly troubles like throwing up or diarrhea. If they have any of these symptoms, keep them home from school and consider having them tested for COVID-19. Other common reasons for cough and runny nose: Common cold/other viruses, Croup, Seasonal allergies, and Asthma.
Need more Information?
For the latest and most up to date information, visit the Tennessee Department of Health website or the CDC website.