Children's Hospital Colorado

The Effects of COVID-19 on Children with Chronic Illnesses

During the pandemic, many providers’ primary questions for our experts are regarding children with chronic illnesses or other health conditions. Fortunately, current information suggests that most kids are unlikely to become severely ill with COVID-19. However, children with certain underlying conditions may be at higher risk, specifically those children with problems that impact the heart, lungs or ability to fight infection. Examples of conditions include:

  • Chronic lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Neurologic conditions (including muscle disorders)
  • Immunodeficiency conditions
  • Organ transplant
  • Cancer treatment
  • Treatment with medications that weaken the immune system

If your patients have any of the above conditions, below are general recommendations:

Medications

We do NOT recommend your patients stop any long-term medications. Maintaining good control of underlying conditions is one of the best strategies to avoid more severe coronavirus disease. Avoiding flares of underlying disease will also help prevent unnecessary trips to the hospital.

It's a good idea to make sure your patients' parents have refilled their children's prescriptions and have at least a two-week supply of medications on hand. Medication supplies should align with safer-at-home directives.

Routine clinic visits

Alongside the AAP, we’re encouraging families to call their pediatrician to maintain vital well-child visits. Download free promotional well-child care resources for your practice.

See a list of our open locations and services.

School

Children’s Colorado is actively engaged with CDPHE, the Colorado Department of Education, the AAP, the Colorado Chapter of the AAP and local school districts and officials to guide and support children reentering school in the coming fall.

Download our risk-based guide for getting kids back to school amid COVID-19.

See the AAP’s school resources.

At-home preparations

Because the pandemic could last for a long time, public health measures, such as safer-at-home, are intended to reduce person-person contact.

Encourage your patients and their families to stay at home, as that is the safest option to avoid exposure. Ensure they first have enough stock of prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, medical supplies, household items and groceries. Note that hoarding is not recommended, as it affects the supply chain and other people's ability to obtain necessary items.

Illness

If your patient receives subspecialty care at Children's Colorado and has respiratory symptoms or a fever but it is not an emergency, call their care team here to get advice. Most patients with COVID-19 are not sick enough to require hospitalization or an emergency department visit and can be managed at home, but we’re here when your patients need us.

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.

See the AAP’s clinical guidance on COVID-19.