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COVID-19

Answers to your questions

Detecting and limiting the spreading of COVID-19 is a challenge for everyone, including for families.

In order to respond to your questions, you will find on this page essential information on COVID-19 for children, as well as practical advice that takes into consideration the reality of families.

 


What is COVID-19?

COVID19 is a disease caused by the coronavirus. It is related to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and some common types of colds


Who are the people at risk for COVID-19?

Currently, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as being low for the general population of Canada, but, this assessment may suddenty change.

The health risk is greater for:

  • People 65 years and older
  • People with a medical problem (chronic diseases, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, hypertension etc.)


What is the current situation of COVID-19 in Québec?

At present in Québec, the Coronavirus is spreading and an epidemic may be declared.

To get information regarding the situation in Canada and Québec, consult the section "Situation in Québec" and worldwide section of the government of Québec website


How to talk about COVID-19 with children?

With the ominpresence of COVID-19 in the  media and discussions, it is recommended that you speak with your children without alarming them. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Let them  know that COVID-19 is a new contagious disease that ressembles a cold that has appeared around the world.
  • Use simple words based on the age of the child
  • Name the symptoms without being alarmist
  • Stay positive by mentionning that doctors and researchers are working to find solutions, remedies and vaccines.
  • Ask your children if they heard of this at school. It is important to correct misconceptions.
  • Respond to their qustions and don`t hesitate to tell them when you do not know the answer to their questions


What are the symptoms of COVID-19 in children?

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Irritated Throat
  • Difficulty Breathing

These symptoms are the same in adults. On the other hand, statistics show that children who have contracted the virus suffer from mild symptoms. The severity of the disease increases with age.


Is COVID-19 dangerous for children?

In the majority of cases, the response is no, as symptoms are mild. That being said, children are still contagious, even if their general condition is good and they have energy. Those around them must therefore remain vigilant in order to limit the risks of contracting the virus and becoming seriously ill. COVID-19 can be particularly severe in the elderly.

If your child is suffering from a chronic illness, has a weakened immune system or has cancer, it is recommended that you exercise extra caution and follow the same precautions as during an influenza period.


What should I do if my child experiences symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Contact 1 877 644-4545 for a screening appointment
  • The whole family must remain in isolation at home
  • Due to their young age, it is difficult to isolate a child with symptoms in a seperate room. The child can continue to participate in family life, but it is recommended that the parents, brothers and sisters wash their hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after being in contact with their secretions and saliva (see the question: What are the basic precautions that I need to take to protect my children and my loved ones during this pandemic period?)
  • Whenever possible, it is advisable to maintain a certain distance from the child who presents symptoms or who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and to frequently clean their toys.
  • It is also recommended that the child sleep in his own bed, in a room dedicated to him. If possible, a bathroom should also be reserved for them.
  • Pay special attention to surfaces that could be infected. For example, thoroughly clean all surfaces that are often handled: door handles, faucets, counters.
  • If their condition allows, the sick child can continue to play outside, but only in the presence of family children or adults (for example: in their yard or moving around in a stroller without entering closed places).
  • Contact 9-1-1 if your child's condition requires immediate intervention and attention by health professionals.

Please reserve emergencies for patients who require acute care.


My child will be tested for COVID-19 at CHU Sainte-Justine. Can I also take this test on site?

The CHU Sainte-Justine screening clinic is exclusively intended for children. Staff at 1 877 644-4545 can assign you an appointment at a clinic designated for adult clients.


How is COVID-19 transmitted?

COVID-19 is spread by contact with a sick person (cough, respiratory secretions) or with contaminated objects (surfaces, clothes). According to a recent article, the virus has a survival time of 72 hours (3 days) on smooth surfaces (e.g plastic, stainless steel) and 24 hours (1 day) on more prous surfaces (e.g cardboard).


What are the basic precautions that I need to take to protect my children and my loved ones during this pandemic period?

  • Pay particular attention to hand hygiene by soaping hands for at least 20 seconds with lukewarm water and drying them with a clean towel. You can also use an alcohol-based disinfectant if you don`t have access to soap and water. Hand washing should be done after handling respoiratory secretions or touching potentially contamined surfaces and before touching your child's or children's faces.
  • Limit contact with people with symptoms or those returning from travel since less than 14 days.
  • Watch for the onset of any respiratory symtpoms.
  • As soon as symptoms appear, call 1 877 644-4545 to obtain a screening appointment for respiratory symptoms.
  • It is recommended that sick adults isolate themselves in a room,  if another adult can take of children in the house. Ideally, this person should not share the same bathroom as the rest of the family.
  • It is important that the rest of the family stay in solitary confinement at home. Outdoor games between brothers and sisters are permitted - the children in your family will certainly continue to have ants in their legs!
  • Pay special attention to surfaces that could be infected. For example, thoroughly clean all the surfaces that you often handle: door handles, faucets and counters.


My child's friend has symptoms or has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Should I let him play with them?

Currently, all the precautions implemented in Quebec are intended to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the population. It is therefore recommended to avoid contact with contagious or potentially contagious people.


My child has an immune deficiency. Do I need to take special precautions?

Data to date do not appear to demonstrate an increased risk of severe disease in immunocompromised individuals.

You must, of course, try to avoid infection. If you or your spouse contracts COVID-19, it would be important to make sure that this adult can isolate himself in a room, that they wear a mask if they are  outside the room, that they wash their hands thoroughly after any contact with respiratory secretions and that a distance of two meters separates the sick person from the child.

For all other recommended precautions, see the question: What are the basic precautions that I need to take to protect my children and my loved ones during this pandemic period?

Please note that this general advice does not replace a medical opinion given by your treating physician.


I am pregnant. Is COVID-19 a risk for my pregnancy?

A pregnant woman does not seem to be able to transmit the virus to her baby during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant and think you may have had COVID-19 (you are experiencing symptoms and have just returned from a trip or have been in contact with an infected person), it is recommended that you contact 1 877 644-4545 to obtain a screening appointment and immediately notify the health professional who is monitoring your pregnancy.

Of the data actually available, it is indicated that pregnant woman do not seem to be more likely to contract COVID-19.

However, the risk of preterm delivery appears to be higher when the woman contracts the virus during her 3rd trimester of pregnancy.

Still, according to the data currently available, there is no evidence of risks of malformations associated with COVID-19.


I am pregnant. How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

It is recommended to pay particular attention to hand hygiene and to limit any contact with a person presenting with symptoms or returning from travel for less than 14 days.

For all other recommended precautions, see the question: What are the basic precautions that I need to take to protect my children and my loved ones during this pandemic period?


Can I continue breastfeeding my baby if I have symptoms or a diagnosis of COVID-19?

Yes, if you feel fit enough to do so. COVID-19 is not spread through breast milk. However, you should take the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before breastfeeding (see question: What are the basic precautions that I need to take to protect my children and my loved ones during this pandemic period?
  • Wear a mask.
  • Change your clothes to prevent your baby from coming into contact with secretions.
  • Wash your breasts if you think they may have been in contact with secretions.
  • Between breastfeeding, maintain a distance of two meters between you and your baby.
  • Ask a healthy loved one to take care of your baby.
  • If you have special concerns about your baby's health, discuss them with your doctor or health care professional.


We have returned from a trip. What precautionary measures should we take?

Your family must remain in isolation for 14 days. For other precuations, see the answers to the question titled: What are the basic precautions that I need to take to protect my children and my loved ones during this pandemic period?


How to prepare for isolation?

Here are simple steps to take if you or a family member becomes ill:

  • Make a plan
    • Get one month worth of prescription medications
    • Buy essential items without panicking too much
    • Plan arrangements with your employer and loved ones.
    • Reduce your risk of exposure by avoiding places where people gather.
  • Communicate your plan to those around you
  • Stay informed of the COVID-19 situation from reliable sources.


I have questions. Where can I get information?

  • Government of Quebec information line for the population on COVID-19 (information and screening appointments): 1 877 644-4545
  • Government of Canada Information Line on COVID-19: 1 833 784-4397
  • Psychosocial telephone consultation service: 8-1-1
  • Government of Québec website


Exceptional measures for an exceptional situation


Restricted number of visitors

The CHU Sainte-Justine is putting in place exceptional measures aimed at better supervising and limiting the number of visitors within its walls. Until further notice :

  • A maximum of two significant persons can accompany hospitalized patients.
  • Only one companion per patient that has an appointment in one of their specialized cliniques or at urgence will be authorized.

CHU Sainte-Justine is also asking all visitors with symptoms associated with COVID-19, who have traveled outside the country in the past 14 days or who have been in contact with a diagnosed person not to present themselves at their establishments.


Reduction of clinical activities at CHU Sainte-Justine

Based on need, some clinics at CHU Sainte-Justine will significantly reduce their activities. These changes will postpone some appointments, examinations and interventions to a later date.

The teams at CHU Sainte-Justine are doing everything to mitigate the impact of these changes. They will communicate on an individual basis with patients for whom an appointment is scheduled.In these exceptional circumstances, families are asked not to call the CHU Sainte-Justine in order to free up the telephone lines so that the teams can reach the greatest number of patients.

In these exceptional circumstances, families are asked not to call the CHU Sainte-Justine in order to free up the telephone lines so that the teams can reach the greatest number of patients.


Are appointments, exams and procedures that are not related to COVID-19 canceled at CHU Sainte-Justine (chemotherapy, appointment with a pediatrician, a psychologist, etc.)?

In the coming days, a gradual slowdown in clinical activities will take place. Several meetings, examinations and interventions will be postponed to a later date.

Our teams are currently communicating with patients whose appointments are rescheduled by email, text or telephone. If you do not receive a call, your appointment will be kept.

Due to the current exceptional circumstances, we thank you for freeing the lines of the CHU Sainte-Justine to allow our operators to reach the greatest number of patients.

About this page
Updated on 5/13/2020
Created on 5/13/2020
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