No one is immune from becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus, and although children are less vulnerable than our older populations, they still may need to get tested. Preparing your child for a COVID-19 test can help to prevent it from being a scary proposition for your little one.
Review What Your Children Already Know About The Virus
Most children are aware of masks since they see almost everyone wearing one, and they should understand their purpose by now.
They should know that invisible germs or viruses can infect our bodies, and we all need to wear protective masks to prevent infection. They have hopefully been instructed to keep a safe distance from others, although that is tough for kids to do.
Why Kids Are Tested
Children are mainly tested if they have come in contact with someone else who tested positive. This may have happened at school or daycare. It might have happened during a recent family gathering.
Another reason for your child to be tested is if they are exhibiting some of the COVID-19 symptoms. These can include lethargy and extreme fatigue, a dry cough, muscle and joint pain plus respiratory problems. Some COVID symptoms are similar to the flu and explain to them that the doctors want to know which it is so they know the best way to take care of you.
Sometimes the virus has no symptoms at all, but if your child has become infected, they should understand they must stay at home for a while in quarantine so they don’t give it to someone else.
What Your Child Should Expect
Some younger children may be frightened or become anxious about the attire of the technician administering the test. Explain they will be wearing protective clothing plus a mask and a plastic face shield to protect them and us.
There are a number of testing options available now. Some involve spitting saliva into a container, but the most common test involves a Q-tip type device which merely swabs the inside of the nose. The earlier test that was more invasive going up into the nasal cavity is not used much anymore.
There is no pain and really no discomfort at all. It only takes about 2 seconds and it’s over. Some results can come as early as in 15 minutes, but more often it takes a day or two.
This time of COVID has been tough on everyone, but if your child needs to be tested, reassure them it doesn’t hurt and only takes a few seconds.