We know your family’s health is your priority—it’s our priority too. While there is much uncertainty around coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it will impact our lives moving forward, you can rest assured that our facilities are among the safest places to receive healthcare. We have implemented enhanced protections to keep you and your loved ones safe, so you can seek the care you need with confidence.

Learn more about caring for your child during COVID-19, both at home and if/when seeking care at our facility.

Q: How can I protect my family from COVID-19?

At this time, there’s no vaccine for COVID-19, but there are ways to protect yourself and your family from exposure to the virus:

  • Avoid people who are sick or who have been exposed to the virus.
  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes (using your elbow is a good technique).
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces you touch regularly with a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Use hot, soapy water or a dishwasher to wash dishes and utensils.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about your health and risk of COVID-19.

Read additional information from the CDC on preventing COVID-19.

Q: Are children, especially those with special needs, at high-risk for COVID-19?

According to the CDC, there is no evidence indicating children are high risk. Currently, we do not know if children with special needs have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public—or how COVID-19 might affect children with ongoing health problems.

Q: Should I take my child to planned health care visits?

Please contact your healthcare provider for specific advice. Telemedicine has made it possible for some virtual appointments, please check with your own provider for direction. Please note: Emergency healthcare issues should not be ignored or delayed.

Q: Should I get my child checked for COVID-19 if he/she is sick?

Refer to the CDC’s testing guidance for COVID-19. If your child has symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, congestion or runny nose, nausea, diarrhea, shortness of breath, or signs of dehydration, such as not peeing for 8-12 hours, no tears when crying, or being less active than usual), call your healthcare provider right away. Decisions about testing are left to the discretion of state and local health departments and/or individual providers.

Q: If my child needs emergency care or hospitalization, is it safe for them to be in the hospital or emergency room?

Our hospitals are among the safest places available to receive care when needed. We are taking every precaution to ensure our patients and colleagues are protected. The health and safety of our patients is and has always been our top priority.

Before you arrive at the hospital, we want to make you aware of a few additional precautionary steps we are taking at this time. We have a number of screening questions in place for all patients and visitors before entering the building. This helps maintain the safety of all involved, and limits the spread of any potential infectious illnesses.

During your child’s stay, we will connect in ways he or she will feel engaged, while reducing fear and worry. This may include sitting down at eye-level, active listening, speaking in a calm, reassuring and positive tone, delivering information in a way the child understands and checking to ensure understanding.

Q: Are visitors allowed during pediatric stays?

At this time, our policy is to allow a named parent or caregiver to be present with your child, provided they meet the hospital’s health screening requirements. It’s important you stay in close contact with your provider, or contact the facility where you’re seeking care, as these policies may change.

If you are unable to be with your child, it may be helpful to bring familiar objects from home, including blankets, stuffed animals, pajamas or a journal. We will explain when you will return, teach them how to use the call button or contact their provider directly, schedule time for activities and check in regularly. Your child’s care and wellbeing are most important to us.

Q: If my child has a chronic disease, how can I appropriately look after them?

Helping a child understand the care they are receiving is important. Check with the child for understanding and make sure they’re giving honest feedback.

Use a “play doctor kit” to explain routine medical care:

  • Touch/explore toy medical equipment prior to a procedure.
  • Use dolls and stuffed animals to describe/play out procedures.
  • Use picture books with nonthreatening images to explain procedures.
  • For teenagers, recommend apps or show them apps on your smartphone to learn more about their treatment.

We also recommend the use of distraction techniques:

  • Toys
  • Books
  • Stuffed animals
  • Bubbles
  • Play a game of “I Spy”
  • Sing a song together
  • Count certain items in the room
  • Play three rounds of “Simon Says”