How to speak with your kids about Coronavirus Covid-19

Infectious Diseases

Coronavirus Covid-19 cases are on the rise, and kids are beginning to feel the anxiety, and asking questions.


Watch my televised interview on how to speak to kids about the coronavirus.



**  In a previous article  **

How is COVID-19 transmitted?

Transmission is mainly through respiratory droplets and close contact – just like influenza.

The CDC defines close contact as being within 6 feet or within a room or care area for a prolonged period without personal protective equipment OR having direct contact with secretions of a person with COVID-19 infection.

There is some evidence that fecal-oral or blood transmission is possible, but less common than through droplets.

Investigation is underway to determine how long COVID-19 can survive on surfaces.

The incubation period is thought to be 2-14 days, meaning a person will show signs 2-14 days after getting infected by another person. Patients are thought to be most contagious when they have symptoms, like cough and fever.


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Most people with COVID-19 have mild infections – with mild cold-like symptoms and fever, and many have no symptoms.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, malaise, headache, muscle aches)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Mild pneumonia
  • Severe pneumonia (the severe pneumonia caused by COVID-19 is now named severe acute respiratory infection (SARI))
  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
  • Sepsis and Septic shock
  • Death


How do we test for COVID-19 at Kidcrew?

COVID-19 is detected by testing nasopharyngeal swabs (a swab in the nose), throat swabs and sputum (spit).

In the US and Canada, these test kits are NOT available through doctor’s offices. Some hospitals do have them if you meet very specific criteria.

Here is the screening protocol we are using at Kidcrew, and most clinics and hospitals are doing similar:

You will be asked prior to your visit to Kidcrew:

1. Have you or has your child traveled to and from any other Country in the last months? 

2. Have you or has your child been in close contact with any family members or close contacts who have traveled in the last month? 

3. Have you or has your child been in close contact with anyone with a suspected or confirmed case of Coronavirus Covid-19?

If anyone answers yes to any of these questions and has a fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms, that person should proceed immediately to the nearest hospital facility for further evaluation.

Here’s the thing, if you have cold, cough, congestion, fever, you likely have the flu! NOT coronavirus! The symptoms are the same, and the flu is WAY more prevalent in North America right now (and hopefully always will be).


How do you treat COVID-19?

There are currently no specific antiviral medications known to treat COVID-19. We treat symptomatically with rest, fluids, and oxygen, as we would with a severe case of the flu.

Scientists are actively researching antiviral medications that may have activity against COVID-19, and vaccines that may help to prevent COVID-19.

This can take months to years to develop and test to ensure it works and is safe. TAMIFLU DOES NOT WORK.


What can you do to prevent contracting or spreading COVID-19?

  • • Wash hands frequently, with warm soap and water for at least 30 seconds. Many times a day
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you’re sick
  • Cover your cough with your elbow or tissues
  • Stay away from sick people
  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat a variety of colourful foods
  • Get daily exercise


Should I wear a mask?

Face masks are currently not recommended for the general public. They are only recommended if you have a cough yourself or are taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.


What are N95 masks?

An N95 respirator is a respiratory mask designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles.

The ‘N95’ designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) test particles.

These are special masks that are fit to the individuals face by professionals.

This is a process that we undertake at the hospital to ensure a tight fit. So just going out and buying an N95 is a complete waste of time and money, as it will not fit properly, and will not be any more protective than a normal surgical mask.

Also, these masks are not made to fit kids, so you are wasting your money, and your kids are going to hate wearing it.


I will continue to update you as we know more.

Follow my regular updates on Instagram, Facebook, my blog, and follow me on TikTok at @drdinakulik for ongoing advice, tips and information.

For latest news, always use trusted sources – I recommend you find updates here:
WHO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
CDC: Center For Disease Control Coronavirus Disease 2019 page
CDC: Center For Disease Control COVID-19 travel advisory page

There’s a far more dangerous VIRUS and it’s in your backyard.

As with all illnesses, if you are worried about your symptoms, you should see a healthcare provider.


Dr. Dina Kulik, MD, FRCPC, PEM

Written By: Dr. Dina Kulik, MD, FRCPC, PEM

Dina is a wife, mother of 4, and adrenaline junky. She loves to share children’s health information from her professional and personal experience. More About Dr Dina.

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