People chronic medical conditions, including children with physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional differences, are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
Although most COVID-19 cases in children are not severe, some data on children reported that the majority who needed hospitalization for COVID-19 had at least one underlying medical condition. The most common underlying conditions reported among children with COVID-19 include asthma, heart disease, and conditions that weaken the immune system. This information suggests that children with these underlying medical conditions may be at risk for more severe illness from COVID-19.
In addition to following the recommendations to prevent getting sick and running essential errands, families at higher risk should take extra steps:
- Identify potential alternative caregivers that are not at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 themselves.
- Obtain at least one month of medication and medical supplies. Some health plans allow for a 90-day supply of prescription medications. Speak with your healthcare provider about extra medication and supplies.
- Review any care plans for your child, such as an asthma action plan, and make sure caregivers and backup caregivers are familiar with these plans.
- Learn if your child’s healthcare providers, including doctors and therapists, have new ways to be contacted or new ways of providing appointments. If they offer telemedicine visits, find out how those are arranged and any additional information you need.
- Discuss your support care agencies and how their providers are minimizing risk for exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Ask your support caregivers to:
- wear a face mask at all times. Their cloth face covering helps protect you if they are infected but do not have symptoms.
- wash their hands with soap and water often, especially before and after interacting with your child. Provide hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol around your home.
- regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces they use and touch, such as tables, countertops, doorknobs, changing stations, faucets, sinks, etc.
- routinely disinfect any equipment, such as wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, oxygen tanks and tubing, communication boards, and other assistive devices.