Kids' Health

5 Steps to Take If Your Child Has Been Exposed to a Virus

Hearing the news that your child has been exposed to a virus might feel you with dread, but this is a common situation that most parents face at some point. With Covid-19, the flu, and RSV making the rounds, your mind might be going into overdrive. Taking these simple steps can help you enjoy greater peace of mind while keeping your family healthy.

Help Build Their Immune System

Exposure to a virus doesn’t always mean that your child will get seriously sick. To prevent the virus from taking hold, try to find ways to build your child’s immune system up. Making sure that your child eats nutritious meals with antioxidants such as vitamins A and C is helpful for helping them stave off a cold. You can also take this opportunity to have your child spend some time outside in the sunlight to increase their body’s production of vitamin D. Even reading a book outside in a hammock could help your child’s immune system maintain proper functioning. When the day is done, help your child make it to bed on time. Getting a full seven to eight hours of sleep helps the body restore its energy to fight off new germs.

Get Familiar With the Common Symptoms

If you’ve been informed about exposure, then you may already have the advantage of knowing which type of virus you are dealing with. Knowing that your child has been exposed to the flu helps you to watch for signs that include a sudden onset of symptoms that could indicate that your child is ill. Alternatively, the gradual onset of a cough and other respiratory symptoms could indicate that they have RSV. Knowing which symptoms to watch out for helps you know when to take additional precautions.

Schedule for Testing and a Physical Exam

With some viruses, you can arrange for testing to help you figure out how best to proceed. If the exposure occurred several days ago, then you might be able to test for Covid-19 so that you can move on with your lives if your child is negative for the virus. Alternatively, a simple physical exam might help you figure out if your child has a cold or allergies. Rather than wondering about your child’s health status, getting firm answers makes it easier to plan for the next steps to take.

Pick Up Their Prescription Medications

Unfortunately, exposure sometimes results in a child getting sick with a virus. With the rising cost of medication today, you might be concerned about how you will pay for a prescription, especially if your health insurance doesn’t cover much. Looking for the best prescription discount card available helps you to receive lower costs on common medications that are needed for treating a viral illness. Having more money in your pocket also allows you to use the extra savings to purchase comfort items such as popsicles or a coloring book to keep your child happier while they recover.

Minimize Exposure to Others

Once your child is exposed to an illness, they are at a higher risk of transmitting it to others. Children can sometimes be asymptomatic carriers of viruses such as Covid-19, and you don’t want them to spread the disease to other loved ones or their classmates. If possible, consider lowering the amount of contact that your child has with other people. While they might still be able to go to school, this might be a good time to put off visiting the grandparents who live just down the road. Depending upon the illness and your child’s age, you might also consider having them wear a mask if they can’t avoid being around other people. For instance, many medical buildings and doctors are requesting mask-wearing for those who attend appointments for illnesses.

The countdown to wellness begins the moment that you hear that your child has been exposed to a virus. In the best-case scenario, your child will get some extra rest and nutrition while you help their body sustain a strong immune system. If your child does develop symptoms, then having a solid plan to get them to the doctor and on the appropriate medication helps them to start their recovery faster.


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