Earlier this year, a Heating & Cooling company in Utah made a customer pretty upset with how they handled COVID-19. 

The company sent a Technician out to the customer’s home in a mask, gloves and foot covers. Those things weren’t exactly mainstream yet back in March (it’s wild how fast things have changed). When the family opened the front door, one of their children was so startled by the Technician’s appearance that they cried, causing the parents to voice frustration that the company had not prepared them with how the Technician would look upon arrival. 

The lesson from this Heating & Cooling company’s experience for all of us? When it comes to preparing your children to experience the effects of COVID-19, help them see the future. Let them know what to expect so that it doesn’t shock or surprise them. 

And if you’re not even sure what to expect when it comes to COVID for children, that’s what this article is for. Here are the must-know insights for you and your little ones...

(NOTE: If you find yourself stuck in quarantine with nothing to do, check out these articles for family-friendly activity ideas and insights.)

How to be prepared for a child’s COVID-19 test

1. Understanding the Symptoms

Anytime we talk about health and medicine on this blog, we’ll start by defaulting to the professionals. If you have any hunch that you or your children are infected with COVID-19, we encourage you to seek professional advice from your doctor. 

That said, the Mayo Clinic lists these 14 symptoms to be cautious of:

  • Fever
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Poor feeding or poor appetite
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Belly pain
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)

Now, with that understanding in mind, here is what to expect when you do get your child tested:

2. Masks, gloves and paranoia are the norm

It’s probably not shocking to you at this point, but it may still startle your little ones to see so many people in masks and gloves and six feet apart. Especially when those people are getting up close and personal with your child to test them for the virus. 

If you suspect you or your child have symptoms of the disease, and you’ve determined to get tested, let the children know what to expect about the appearance of doctors. Assure them it’s perfectly normal right now for people to have so many precautionary tools and devices to keep you and them safe from the disease. That way, they’re not surprised when someone in a full-body hazmat suit approaches them. 

3. How the actual test will work

To actually test your child for the disease, medical professionals will insert a long q-tip into their nose for a swab. That swab is then tested to detect the virus. 

It goes without saying that sticking something up a child’s nose (or anyone’s nose for that matter) can be an unpleasant experience. But, again, you can lessen the blow if you let your child know what is coming. 

4. Then there’s the quarantine part

After getting tested, health professionals recommend staying at home, in quarantine, until you get the results of your test. If you do test positive, you should quarantine for at least 10 days from when symptoms first started. 

(NOTE: If you find yourself stuck in quarantine with nothing to do, check out these articles for family-friendly activity ideas and insights.)

Preparation inspires confidence

We get it: it’s 2020. Things have been wild, unpredictable and nearly impossible to prepare for this year. So we recognize the irony of writing an article about how to prepare your child for something that most adults are barely prepared for…

But that doesn’t mean we can’t try. It doesn’t mean we can’t study up, familiarize ourselves with the process of monitoring symptoms and getting tested and give our children the best chance to have some confidence going into a COVID-19 test.

In summary, remember to consult a medical professional for advice on getting tested, let your children know that the strangeness of masked and gloved individuals is perfectly fine to see, that the testing swab is also a normal part of the experience and, finally, that there’s still plenty of fun to be had in quarantine.