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I think my child has COVID-19. Now what?

With more children heading back to classrooms, sports fields and other settings, the likelihood that they could encounter COVID-19 increases.

What do you do if your child begins to exhibit symptoms of coronavirus or tests positive for it?

Dr. Iahn Gonsenhauser, chief quality and patient safety officer at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, offers practical advice for the next steps families should take.

Some studies suggest that up to 50% of children affected by COVID-19 can remain asymptomatic. Others typically present symptoms similar to the flu, seasonal allergies or strep throat.

If you think your child has COVID-19 or he tests positive, follow the guidelines given by your local health department.

Gonsenhauser also recommends avoiding contact wherever possible. Try to arrange separate places for family members to eat, sleep and use the restroom. It also is wise to wear masks in the home and increase hand washing, Gonsenhauser suggested.

“While we haven't seen children getting sick at the same rate as adults, the most concerning and most threatening element of COVID is … its ability to spread,” he said.