Despite the emergence of less dangerous variants and the widespread availability of vaccines, Covid-19 continues to shape our world. While we have been lucky that no variant has posed a significant danger to young children that does not reduce the threat that the virus poses to some individuals. Let’s look at when to test your kids or babies for COVID.
When to Test Your Kids or Babies for Covid
In order to reduce the risk to your own children and protect vulnerable individuals in your area, it is important that we continue to take Covid-19 seriously. That includes testing our young children and even infants as needed in order to act with the interest of our communities in mind.
These are the most current suggestions for testing young children and infants for Covid-19.
When to Test
When Symptoms Are Present:
All children should be tested when they present with symptoms that could indicate Covid-19. Common symptoms include:
- Body aches
- Loss of taste or smell
- Headache, sore throat
Many of these symptoms may also be related to seasonal allergies or other viruses. Still, testing is recommended to ensure the proper procedures are followed in the case of a positive test.
Five Days After Close Exposure:
If your child or infant has had close exposure to someone who has recently tested positive for Covid, then they should be tested five days following their most recent exposure.
The incubation period for Covid-19 can be several days, and testing too early could return a false negative. Close exposure is defined as being within six feet of the infected person for 15 minutes or more.
In regard to close exposure, newborn infants may be tested for Covid-19 within 48 hours of birth. Namely, if either parent has a confirmed case of Covid-19.
Prior to Travel:
Many forms of travel in the United States have reduced testing requirements over the last year. However, your child may still need to present a negative test if you are going on a cruise or flying internationally.
Check with your airline or cruise company to find out whether testing will be required so you can get your coronavirus test in Beverly Hills prior to departure.
Prior to Entering High Risk Areas:
Areas, such as hospitals, with a larger concentration of at-risk individuals may still require some form of testing for all entrants.
Covid testing for schools also continues to be common in the southern California region depending on the regulations set by the local government and school district.
Testing can vary from a mere temperature check to a rapid test, so check with the location for details.
When to Quarantine
While Waiting for Test Results:
If your child has to test for Covid due to symptoms or exposure, it is best to act as though they have an active infection.
The exception is that your child may not be required to quarantine for the five days leading up to their test following exposure if they have been fully vaccinated.
While Symptoms Are Present:
Anyone with active symptoms should behave as though they are still contagious.
Exceptions may include lingering symptoms like a light cough. But you should generally wait for a negative test if symptoms persist.
Five Days Following Positive Test:
Whether or not your child has symptoms, they should quarantine for five days following a positive test.
Even without symptoms your child may be contagious during this period. So it is important to keep them away from other people who may be high-risk for a dangerous reaction to Covid.
Guidelines for a Safer Community
Covid restrictions continue to impact our lives on a regular basis. Testing your children may be an unpleasant and inconvenient experience. But following these guidelines could literally save lives. Those of your teachers, neighbors, and older relatives.