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Coronavirus Outbreak House Calls: Molly Hyde

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Laura Tenbus

March 17, 2020
*This is a rapidly changing situation. This video was filmed on March 17, 2020. For the most up-to-date information, visit the CDC website at*

As the COVID-19 virus is spreading, it’s important to know fact from fiction. To help answer your questions, WMAR-2 News hosted house calls for members of the public to ask healthcare experts about the current COVID-19 situation. Molly Hyde, MHS, CIC, Infection Control Practitioner at GBMC, discusses how the current outbreak can affect children.

Can children get COVID-19?

Although symptoms are much milder than they are in older adults, children can still become infected with COVID-19. We don’t currently know if children are at a lower risk of contracting the virus, or if we aren’t identifying cases because their symptoms are mild. Children can spread the virus, so it’s important to practice social distancing.

Children experience symptoms slightly differently than adults do. All cases of COVID-19 show respiratory symptoms like coughing and fever, but children may also experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is also seen in flu cases.

We do not currently know if asthma increases the risk of becoming infected; however, anyone with an underlying medical condition should be extra cautious.

Is hand sanitizer safe for children?

Hand sanitizer is safe for children to use under adult supervision. The concern is that a child will ingest hand sanitizer that was put on his or her hands. Make sure that the sanitizer is completely dry before the child has the opportunity to put their hands in their mouth.

Hand washing is just as effective as using hand sanitizer.

Do children need to stay inside?

It is safe for children (and adults) to go outside as long as you limit the amount of people in the group and practice social distancing. Playing in the yard, swinging on a swing set, or riding a bike down the street is safe – just don’t do these activities in groups.

You should avoid crowded places like public playgrounds where groups of children can congregate.

What’s the best way to keep my child safe?

The most important thing you can do to keep your child and others safe is to teach them good hand hygiene. Hand washing is the best way to kill the virus. Make sure that they are washing their hands for at least 20 seconds and that they’re scrubbing well – make it fun by singing Happy Birthday twice or singing Baby Shark. Click here to see the CDC’s guidelines for proper hand washing.

*Click here for more information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)*
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