Understanding COVID-19: Part 1

Over the past weeks and months, we have talked with many of you about all the different aspects of COVID-19. In a 2 part video series, Dr. Huitink is going to address many of those questions, concerns, and reservations! Today, we will start with Part 1 where we will answer the questions of “Who is at greatest risk and How do we minimize risk?”.

Watch this video of Dr. Huitink explaining the answers to these questions!

Part 1:

Who is at greatest risk?

Those at greatest risk have been listed by Vanderbilt Children’s hospital as the following:

  1. Chronic Kidney Disease
  2. COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  3. Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  4. Obesity (body mass index of 30 or higher)
  5. Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
  6. Sickel cell disease
  7. Type 2 diabetes
  8. This also includes children who are medically complex, who have neurologic, genetic, and metabolic conditions.
    For more info, check out this graphic:

How do we minimize risk?

There are 3 action steps we recommend to help minimize our children’s risk of contracting COVID-19:

Wear a mask.
As we approach the start of school here soon, it is a great time to practice wearing a mask! Have your child/teen wear a mask around the house as they are watching TV or playing games. This will help introduce them to the feeling of wearing a mask for long periods of time. It may also help them to desensitize so that wearing a mask in school does not become a distraction.
If you are able, have your child be a car rider.
If you are able, using the car rider line will help reduce your child being in large and congested groups.
Equip your child with their own hand sanitizer.
Give your child a hand sanitizer that they can attach to their backpack or stick in their pocket! This is a great opportunity for them to take ownership of their handwashing. It will also help reduce the spreading of germs!

What to expect:

There are no perfect answers as this is a new, nine-month-old virus with no long term studies to help us determine the best course of action to take. We do know that thus far, the statistics have been strongly in favor of our children as the overall death rate is below 1%. See the chart below for a visual on the statistics of COVID deaths vs. Influenza deaths

For now, we encourage everyone to stay up-to-date on the latest information that is published by reliable resources such as the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics and follow the guidelines that have been suggested. As always, we must remember that is our duty to not only look out for our own interests but the interests of others!