What to do when your child is ill during COVID-19


Many parents across the country have questions about their child’s healthcare needs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and what appointments or office visits to keep, and which should be rescheduled for a later date.  Experts at Dell Children’s emphasize that a number of visits remain critical to a child’s care during the pandemic, particularly for children with chronic health conditions. 

“We want to encourage you to bring your child in for essential appointments, as recommended by your pediatrician,” said Dr. Eric Higginbotham, Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Dell Children’s. “Rest assured there are strict quality, safety, and infection prevention protocols in place to ensure your and your child’s safety. At Dell Children’s we are working diligently to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our patients, families, staff while providing uninterrupted care at essential clinics, therapy appointments, and emergency visits to the ED.”

Dr. Higginbotham discussed the importance of critical care visits during the pandemic in a recent Austin 360 article. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and experts at Dell Children’s recommend the following regarding treatment for children during the pandemic:

  • Consult with your pediatrician about essential clinic visits. Your child should continue essential clinic or treatment appointments, such as chemotherapy and dialysis, during the pandemic, unless otherwise recommended by their healthcare providers.

  • Talk to your pediatrician, specialists, therapists, or anyone else who cares for your child about any other upcoming appointments. They can let you know if the appointments need to be delayed. If the decision is made to delay the appointment, be sure you know how to get in touch with your doctor if you have any concerns about your child’s health or behavior. 

  •  Emergency departments remain open and should be used for critical care needs. If your child has experienced a critical injury, they should be seen by emergency professionals immediately.

  •  Consider telemedicine. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many pediatricians are using technology to provide telehealth medicine. This way a child can stay at home and be evaluated over a video visit using technology like Skype, FaceTime or another telehealth option, and the parent can then be given advice for treatment.