Kid Safety During COVID-19 - Expert Advice from a Pediatrician

Dashia Starr
Updated Mar 20, 2020
4 min read

Doctors are taking great strides to make sure that your family and kids are healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. We reached out to a pediatrician to find out what he’s telling his patients and what safety measures his office (and others) are taking to keep children and families safe and the risk of infection low.

Taking Kids to the Doctor During COVID-19

Dr. Allan Stanford is a pediatrician certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. He’s been practicing in Arkansas since 1987 with a focus on the behavior and development of younger generations. Dr. Stanford has spent the past several days restructuring his office for all patients and their families.

He added that his office now has separate entrances for sick and well children. Kids are being evaluated in different areas of the office to avoid close contact. During visits, patients are encouraged to wear surgical masks. Most importantly, anyone who was possibly exposed to COVID-19 gets their temperature taken.

“We’ve enhanced our telephone services in order to manage problems without an office visit whenever possible,” Dr. Stanford shared.

Precautionary measures are also being taken for Dr. Stanford’s staff, too. Medical staff members that work with sick patients are wearing gloves and special N-95 masks. If a patient has a chance of having COVID-19, healthcare workers wear protective clothing when testing for the virus. All of the staff are also screened for a fever at least twice a day. Dr. Stanford hopes to soon test COVID-19 patients in their car to reduce the risk of staff and other patients.

“This is potentially safer for our staff and other patients,” he said.

We recommend reaching out to your pediatrician to see what steps they’re taking and the best procedures you can follow. Check on the status of upcoming doctor’s appointments as most are postponing until the pandemic calms.

“It’s nice to be able to reassure our families that the Covid-19 virus does not appear to cause serious illness in most children.”

Handling Child Health and Safety at Home

There are a few high-risk groups that COVID-19 could impact differently. Most kids aren’t a big concern for serious illness from the virus, but Dr. Stanford is advising families to take a few precautions to help keep both parents and kids safe:

  • Follow CDC recommendations 
  • Stay home if you can
  • Avoid large groups for the time being 
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer 
  • Avoid shaking hands 

Experts are also advising families to take social distancing seriously while kids are out of school due to the Coronavirus. Unfortunately, that means postponing playdates and gatherings to limit the risk of spreading the virus. Instead, use this as a time to bond as a family and do fun things inside the house such as watch movies, play games and cook together. Take time outside to walk and play, but not in large numbers. Remember to disinfect toys and surfaces regularly. 

Talking to Your Kids About the Coronavirus

Children face anxiety about the unknown. Like many parents, they worry about the safety of their loved ones, their own health and what it all means. Talking about COVID-19 can be tough. Dr. Stanford recommends parents follow these tips from The REACH Institute.

  • Take a deep breath and relax before talking to your kids. Remember, they can sense your anxiety. 
  • Understand the reason for the questions your kids may have. Answer questions as best as you can. 
  • Reassure your kids as much as you can. Let them know the COVID effects on children are mild. Letting them know that even if people get sick,  most will get completely better after a few weeks is a good start. 
  • Share ways for them to reduce anxiety. Showing them that they can help keep others safe including washing hands and social distancing to keep everyone safe.

A Note for Expecting Mothers & Parents of Infants

Experts, including Dr. Stanford, consider pregnant women an at-risk group for COVID-19. During pregnancy, the body undergoes immune and other body changes that make them more at risk for more infections. If an expecting mother contracts the virus or has other respiratory symptoms she is at risk for preterm labor and the baby could face other complications. After delivery, it is possible that the mother and baby will both need to be in isolation. Dr. Stanford advised that infants are a special case.

“Especially in the first few weeks of life, we have a low threshold for hospitalization for fever or respiratory problems,” he explained. “COVID could cause either of those scenarios.” 

He went on to explain that currently, there are no cures or treatments for the Coronavirus. Infants can receive supplemental oxygen and IV fluids if the baby isn’t eating well.

About Dr. R. Allan Stanford MD, FAAP

Dr. Stanford completed his pediatric training at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s Hospital in 1984, and has been in practice in the Saline County area since 1987. Father of four and grandfather to eleven, his practice emphasis is general pediatrics but he has a special interest in the social and moral development of young people. He served on the Bryant School Board from 1992 to 2000. He is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics. Read more about Dr. Stanford

COVID-19 Resource Center

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Home Security Writer

Dashia Starr

Dashia researches and writes on all things home automation and security. She focuses on the latest news, products, and providers to share only the best with you.

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