Fortunately, current information suggests that children are unlikely to become severely ill with the coronavirus (COVID-19). However, children with certain underlying conditions may be at higher risk, specifically those children with problems that impact the heart or lungs or ability to fight infection. Examples of conditions include:
- Cancer treatment
- Chronic lung disease
- Heart disease
- Immunodeficiency conditions
- Neurologic conditions (including muscle disorders)
- Organ transplant
- Treatment with medications that lower the immune system
Below are general recommendations for all families:
We do NOT recommend stopping any long-term medications because maintaining good control of underlying conditions is one of the best strategies to avoid more severe coronavirus. Avoiding flares of underlying disease will help prevent unnecessary trips to the hospital, where ill patients are likely to be seeking care. It is a good idea to make sure you have refilled your child's prescriptions and have at least a two-week supply of medications on hand.
Routine clinic visits
Children’s Colorado is starting to reactivate services that were suspended temporarily due to the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more about our phased reopening of in-person pediatric services, starting with procedures, diagnostics and clinic appointments. Then, read how we’re exercising all precautions to keep patients, families and our team members safe.
Note that we strongly recommend that your child continues to receive regular well-child examinations with their primary care provider.
Children’s Hospital Colorado has released draft guidance for the reopening of schools in the fall of 2020. For children with chronic medical conditions or with high-risk family members at home, we recommend talking with your primary care pediatric provider about the decision to return to school.
With Colorado’s Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors order effective June 1, the Governor states that we must continue to practice social distancing and implement precautionary other measures. This includes staying home or spending time outdoors, limiting social interactions, taking extra precautions for vulnerable individuals and wearing face coverings while in public.
In addition, we recommend that families:
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible.
- Wash hands often or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, mouth or eyes as much as possible.
- If you provide care for your child that involve contact with the head and neck, wash hands thoroughly before providing care.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces.
The outbreak could last for a long time. Public health measures, such as Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors, are intended to reduce likelihood of person-to-person contact.
Staying at home is the safest option to avoid exposure, so ensure you have sufficient stock of prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, medical supplies, household items and groceries. Please note that hoarding is not advised, as it affects the supply chain and limits other people from getting essential items.
If your child has symptoms of a cold or fever but it is not an emergency, call your primary care provider or your care team at Children's Colorado to get advice. Remember that other respiratory viruses that are not the coronavirus are still making children ill in the community, and are still common causes of fever and respiratory symptoms.
The good news is that most patients with the coronavirus are not sick enough to require hospitalization or an emergency department visit, and their symptoms can be managed at home. We would prefer to keep your child away from the hospital unless there is a medical emergency.
Families with children who have special considerations when they get a fever (such as children with a central line or those undergoing treatment for cancer) should continue to handle fever as they would under normal circumstances.