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Parent Resources during COVID-19

How to Prepare Your Child for a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Diagnostic Test

Prior to the test

  • Talk to your child about what to expect, using developmentally appropriate language. For example, “A doctor or nurse is going to use a skinny Q-tip to get some germs from inside your nose to look at under a microscope.”
  • Be honest with your child. The test might be uncomfortable. It might make their eyes water or make them feel like they need to sneeze.
  • Let your child know the PCR test will only take a few moments.
  • Reassure your child that you will be there to support them.

Day of the test

  • Help your child get in a comfortable position, such as on your lap, back to chest or chest to chest. Give your child a tight bear hug to help them stay still while you comfort them. Tell your child to try to stay still like a statue.
  • Help your child to stay calm. Deep breathing and listening to music may help.
  • After the test is complete, praise your child for doing their best.

Children and Masks

It is important that you feel confident about your child’s return to the hospital. We have implemented a number of guidelines to ensure that visitors and staff remain safe. One of the changes that you will see is that all visitors, patients and staff are required to wear a mask when they enter the hospital. Wearing a mask can be a new experience for your child.

Below are some tips on how to encourage your child to wear a mask:

  • Explain COVID-19 and safety precautions in simple, clear language.
  • Empower your child by educating them on the benefits of wearing a mask: “You can be a Health Hero and protect yourself and others from germs!”
  • Give opportunities for children to play and get comfortable with masks.
  • Wear a mask with your child, and put one on their stuffed animal.
  • Relate wearing a mask to a cartoon character or superhero disguise.
  • Provide choices to help child feel a sense of control: “Would you like to decorate your mask with markers or stickers?”
  • Validate emotions related to wearing masks and other safety precautions.
  • Give labeled praise: “Great job wearing your mask and washing your hands!”
  • Provide incentives: “First, you need to keep your mask on, and then you can pick a game to play.”