The Surprising Place Where COVID-19 Can Appear
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – If your child is in diapers or is being potty-trained, don’t poo-poo this advice. During this coronavirus pandemic, it may just save your life or that of a loved one.
Paul Walsh, M.D., medical director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, says that babies and small children may not show any signs at all of being sick with COVID-19. But the “presents” they’re leaving behind may be especially harmful as they could contain traces of the virus.
Dr. Walsh said hand-washing during this time is important for everyone, but it’s critical for those who are changing diapers or potty-training toddlers.
“One of the cases that came out of China was a child who was orphaned at 6 months old because he was shedding lots of the coronavirus, but had no symptoms whatsoever,” he said. “So remember to wash your hands thoroughly after every diaper change or potty time.”
Dr. Walsh admits that everyone is at risk for catching the virus, but children usually handle such sicknesses much better than adults do.
“Children have vigorous immune systems,” Dr. Walsh says. “It’s not just with this virus, but with most colds and other sicknesses. Their bodies aggressively fight off the sickness.”
With the first death of an infant who tested positive for COVID-19, Dr. Walsh said parents shouldn’t be too anxious.
“There’s no need to freak out,” he said, “but be vigilant with hand-washing and social distancing. Observe your children in their activities. And, especially, keep them away from seniors. They’re still the most at risk.”