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Posts for tag: COVID-19

Current events are creating stress for many families. The fear and anxiety of waiting and not knowing how long this may last can be overwhelming and cause many emotions in both adults and children. Here are ten things you can do to support yourself and your family during these crazy times:

  1. Routine: Create a routine for your family that resembles your old routine as much as possible, but with modifications to embrace the changes that are taking place such as learning at home, working from home, cancelled activities and sports, and limited travel.
  2. Exercise: Stay active by incorporating physical activity into your schedule for at least 30 minutes every day. It’s important for children to play, get the heart pumping and release energy. For parents, aside from the obvious health benefits, it’s a great way to clear your mind as well.
  3. Sleep: Not enough sleep has been linked to higher levels of stress, higher blood pressure levels and lower brain function. It’s important for both kids and parents to unwind before getting into bed, which will allow for better rest.
  4. Take it Slow: If you’re sensing anxiety in your children or yourself, stop and take a few deep breaths. It can even be a fun game to play with the kids a few times a day. Stop, everyone take 3 deep breaths (in and out), reach to the sky then stretch to the ground and repeat 3 times.
  5. Healthy Eating: This is not the time to binge on snacks, sweets and processed foods. Now more than ever, eating from each of the 5 food groups and getting the proper balance of nutrients is important to keeping the body healthy and the immune system strong.
  6. Stay Connected: Social distancing doesn’t mean complete isolation. We live in a world where technology allows us to stay connected at all times. Make sure you schedule times for your children to digitally connect with friends, whether phone calls, texting, facetime or group video chats. And the same goes to parents — reach out to friends and family and connect with others at least once a day.
  7. Play: Have fun and be creative as a family. A few ideas that everyone can participate in are arts and craft projects, puppet shows or dress up, play a board game, do a puzzle, or simply listen to music and dance.
  8. Read: This is a great time to read a book. The news can be daunting at times like these and turning it off completely to read a book is a great way to reduce stress. Schedule a few times a week or even daily where the whole family reads and escape from the digital world.
  9. Schedule Yourself: Parents need to be sure they are taking care of themselves during these unprecedented times. Don’t feel guilty by scheduling some alone time to focus on yourself whether it’s going for a walk or run, taking a long bath, meditating, doing yoga, working out or simply asking for a little quite time.
  10. Talk: Take time to talk with your child about COVID-19 in a way they understand. Most likely they are hearing the news or seeing posts on social and they probably have questions. Reassure your family that the steps your taking are to keep them safe.

At Children’s Medical Center, we understand this may be a stressful time and it’s important to monitor you and your child’s physical and mental health. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call us. We are open and we are here to help you through this confusing time.

As the cases of coronavirus increase across the country, many families are asking, ‘how do I know if I have it or not?” Many of the symptoms (fever, chills, body aches and cough) are similar to that of the cold or flu. However, there are differences and that is what’s key to pay attention to as you monitor your family’s health. Let’s break down each one:

The Common Cold

A cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory system that can be caused by more than 200 different viruses. Colds are contagious and can be passed to others with an incubation period of 1-7 days. It typically lasts 7-10 days depending on the strain. The most common symptoms of a cold are a runny and/or stuffy nose without a fever. Treatments include rest, fluids, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and over-the-counter medications.

Influenza or The Flu

The flu is also a viral infection of the upper respiratory system, but it can also infect the lower respiratory system. It is highly contagious with an incubation period of about 1-4 days and can last 5-14 days depending on its severity. Common symptoms of influenza are mild to high ever, headaches, cough, fatigue, body aches or pain. The flu can become severe causing pneumonia which could be fatal to some people. Treatment of the flu includes rest, fluids, acetaminophen and if caught early, an antiviral drug like Tamiflu.

Coronavirus or COVID-19

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a relatively new type or strand of coronavirus that effects the upper respiratory system, and in some cases the lower respiratory system. It is extremely contagious spreading from person-to-person through coughing or sneezing. The incubation period is about 14 days, however there may be zero symptoms for the majority of the incubation period. Symptoms include cough, high fever and shortness of breath. The shortness of breath is the symptom that stands out from the cold and the flu. People with weakened immune systems can develop severe respiratory problems or kidney failure that may lead to death. A lab test is needed to confirm COVID-19. Current treatment of COVID-19 include rest, fluids, acetaminophen and respiratory support if symptoms become severe.  As of March 23, an antiviral drug to treat COVID-19 is not confirmed, but there are 4 treatments in the testing phase.

Our highest priority is the safety of you and all of our patients. If you are concerned that you may have coronavirus, please call us before coming into a Children’s Medical Center location.

Palm Harbor (727) 787-6335

West Chase (813) 891-6501

Trinity (727) 376-8404

Lutz (813) 751-3131