Boston Children's response to COVID-19

Coronavirus, COVID-19

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What are coronavirus, SARS CoV-2, and COVID-19?

The CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. This virus causes an illness called COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019). The new CoV-2 coronavirus emerged in the city of Wuhan, China last year and is currently spreading around the globe. The first case in the United States was confirmed on January 21, 2020.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 may have mild, moderate, or severe symptoms. At this time, the focus is on individuals with respiratory illness, particularly those with one or more of the key symptoms: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; or at least two of these symptoms: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell. If you’re worried whether you have symptoms of COVID-19, you can check them with Boston Children’s virtual symptom checker.

What is the treatment for COVID-19?
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
How does COVID-19 spread?

What should I know about COVID-19 testing?

Where do I go to get my child tested for COVID 19 if they have symptoms?
What’s it like to get a throat swab?
What’s it like to get a nasal swab?

COVID-19 prevention

Wash your hands often with soap and water, following CDC handwashing guidelines.
Cover nose and mouthCover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and immediately wash your hands.
Do not touch eyes, nose, and mouthDo not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Clean and disinfectClean and disinfect areas that people often touch, like toys, doorknobs, and other metal and plastic surfaces.
Practice social distancingPractice social distancing.
What is social distancing and why is it important?
My child had a distant exposure to someone with COVID-19. What should I do?
How do I protect my child if someone in my home has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive?

What should I know about coronavirus and children?

Many parents are still understandably nervous about the effects of coronavirus in children — especially those with underlying health conditions. Most children and teens infected with COVID-19 appear to have had mild to moderate symptoms. But the COVID-19 pandemic may have other effects on kids, including stress, fear, anxiety, and frustration. Here’s how Boston Children’s is addressing coronavirus in children.

COVID-19 complications in children: What’s behind the recent alerts?

Infectious disease expert Dr. Kristen Moffitt answers questions about the new coronavirus in babies and children, and offers tips on how to talk about the virus with your kids.

Parenting during the coronavirus pandemic

Tips for parenting during coronavirus

Parenting in the age of COVID-19: Coping with six common challenges

Read more
Talking to your kids about coronavirus

It’s okay to be scared: Talking about COVID-19 with your kids

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Fact vs. Fiction during coronavirus

COVID-19: Separate fact from fiction

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What if someone in my home tests positive for coronavirus

If someone in your house tests positive for COVID-19

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spike in accidental poisoning in children

COVID-19 pandemic may put kids at risk for accidental poisonings

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Dealing with grief during coronavirus

Dealing with feelings of grief in the time of coronavirus

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Teens, social distancing, and anxiety in the time of COVID-19

Many teens are unnerved by COVID-19, social distancing, and the disruption they bring, and struggle with being stuck at home, unable to visit their friends.

Educating children at home during the COVID-19 crisis

What schooling is available to my child during the COVID-19 crisis?
What if my child receives special education services?
Can my child get direct services at home?
Can we still have our scheduled IEP/504 meeting? Can I schedule a new meeting?
If a meeting is delayed, does my child still have an IEP/504 Plan?
How can I access online learning if I don’t have a laptop/tablet/computer/internet connection?
I’m worried my child is going to lose skills during this time. How will they catch up?
What resources are available to help me if I have trouble accessing Special Education?

If your child is a patient of Boston Children’s hospital, contact your specialty clinic for questions about education services. You may also be able to set up a virtual visit with a member of your child’s care team. Find your clinic.

Help your kids stay busy and happy at home during COVID-19 shutdowns

COVID-19 is closing schools and businesses. Here's how to keep your family busy and less stressed during this uncertain time.

helping kids stay busy during school closures

Ask the pediatric expert

What is the latest advice on masks?

What should I know about virtual visits?

What is the latest advice on masks?

The CDC now recommends that everyone wear a cloth face covering to protect other people, because you could spread COVID-19 to others even if you don’t have symptoms.

What should I know about virtual visits?

Our team is working around the clock for families. Learn how to send our staff a message of encouragement and support.

What our experts are saying about COVID-19 and kids in the news


Why children seem to be less affected by the coronavirus

Children under 18 are less likely to experience the typical symptoms of COVID-19, less likely to need hospitalization, and less likely to die of the disease than adults. Boston Children’s Kristin Moffitt, MD, lends her expertise to the article.


Federal policy says students must pick up school meals in person. Families with susceptible children face wrenching decisions

The Washington Post
Public school meals are becoming essential to an escalating number of parents throughout the nation. But a federal policy requiring that students come in-person to pick up free meals is forcing families with immunocompromised children into a wrenching calculus. Boston Children’s Amanda Stewart, MD, MPH, is interviewed for the story.


Could families bond around the TV, like they used to?

Boston Globe
Boston Children’s Michael Rich, MD, MPH, explains that establishing a ritual such as family TV time, at least for the duration of the stay-at-home advisory, can actually be kind of anchoring for children.


Coronavirus triple duty: Working, parenting, And teaching From home

NPR reports that many parents are now transitioning to working from home full time while also being tasked with homeschooling their children. Boston Children’s Michael Rich, MD, MPH, notes that to minimize disruption to children’s education, parents should keep a strict schedule and a list of goals to meet.


Screen time limits 'obsolete' during coronavirus? How to handle online school, things to do

USA Today
With school, social interactions, and time with loved ones moving online amid the COVID-19 pandemic, what should parents be doing about screen time? Boston Children’s Michael Rich, MD, MPH, provides his expertise on the topic.


Cautious optimism for infants born to mothers with COVID-19: Latest data

ABC News
While very few cases have been reported in infants, newborns are a population in which there is a unique form of risk: direct spread from an infected mother to the infant before birth, called "vertical transmission." Boston Children’s Asim Ahmed, MD.


Home-schooling tweens and teens during coronavirus closings

New York Times
As the number of school closing increases, more and more parents are finding themselves at home with their children. Dr. Michael Rich, director of the Center on Media and Child Health, offers tips for home learning.


How to talk to your children about coronavirus

Dr. Kristin Moffitt, of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital, offers tips for parents about talking with their kids about the new coronavirus.


“REMEMBER”: Surviving the pandemic with your children!

The International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions
Dr. Hesham Hamoda, with the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s, offers tips to help overwhelmed parents support their children during the coronavirus outbreak.


‘Flattening the curve’ may prove tough challenge for autistic people

Sarah Spence, MD, PhD, co-director of Boston Children’s Autism Spectrum Center is interviewed about how the COVID-19 pandemic poses unique challenges for autistic people.


Covid-19 testing: overcoming challenges in the next phase of the epidemic

Ken Mandl, MD, MPH, and Arjun K. Manrai, PhD, offer their opinion on the challenges that come with the current testing process for COVID-19 and what needs to change.

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