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07th Sep 2020

Doctor’s advice: What you should do if your child has symptoms of COVID-19

Melissa Carton

Irish schools have all opened their doors over the last couple of weeks.

Children are always going to catch little things like coughs and colds when they go back to school but with schools putting in place extra safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID it makes it difficult for parents to know what to do.

Only recently my own child had a runny nose and to be on the safe side I kept them out of school but it turned out to just be the common cold.

Still it was pretty worrying and it had me wondering about what exactly I should be looking out for in my children and what steps to take if I think they might have COVID-19.


Dr Laura GP recently posted to Instagram with a comprehensive list of information for parents regarding COVID-19 that I think all parents should read.

In the post she warned to be wary of a lot of misinformation that is doing the rounds and that most children she has assessed in GP did NOT have COVID19.

She also pointed out that the major symptoms of child cases (about 70 per cent) will have fever >38.0 OR cough OR are short of breath- 20 per cent roughly asymptomatic.

Children under 13 account for less than 3 per cent of positive cases in Ireland (<5 per cent in Europe!)
And they are MUCH LESS LIKELY to get severe disease in COVID19.

Dr Laura also gave advice on what you should do if you think your child may have COVID-19:

-Ring GP – they will decide if child needs face to face exam or not.

-If any symptoms suggestive of coronavirus then should be sent for test.

-If a child is sent for test then the ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD is restricted until the test results are known.

-If doesn’t get test – then everyone has to isolate for 14 days! So it’s worth getting tested. Yes its not nice, but hopefully new test soon makes it easier.

-Getting tested DOES NOT affect children in the Childs pod or bubble ONLY if the child tests positive then there are implications for pod.

Dr Laura included a chart from @hpscireland which you can read by clicking on her Instagram post (link above).

It’s not always easy to know what to do right now but the more reliable information we can collect the better.