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COVID-19 and Children - Information for Patients

Frequently asked questions for BC Children’s patients about COVID-19.
June 22, 2020

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease that is affecting many countries around the world. Updates to this page will be made as the situation develops and this information is currently up-to-date as of June 22, 2020. For the latest information, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) web page:

Covid-19 and pregnancy

Visit bcwomens.ca for info specific to pregnancy, childbirth and COVID-19.

 

Now that we have seen a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases in the province, we have begun to restore non-urgent health care services at BC Children's.


We began increasing our surgical capacity on May 18, 2020 starting with priority surgeries, as assessed by our health teams. If your child is waiting for a surgery, you will be contacted to reschedule their surgery.


Planning is underway to increase other health care services at BC Children's and Sunny Hill in the coming weeks. If you are waiting for an appointment or procedure, you will be contacted by the clinic to reschedule your child's appointment.

‎Please call the clinic you have the appointment with and share information about the symptoms (including any new fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, painful swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle aches, fatigue or loss of appetite). A doctor or nurse will provide guidance. 

 

‎During COVID-19, we have limited entrances to BC Children’s to facilitate active screening. Access is limited to the Emergency Department (Entrance 55) and the main Teck Acute Care Centre entrance (Entrance 53). Please see this campus map for the locations of these entrances.


At each entrance, you will be asked a few questions and offered direction. A hand cleaning station is available.

 

At Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, we are limiting access for patient, families and visitors to the Slocan entrance to facilitate active screening.


  

Visitors to the hospital

To keep our patients, families and staff safe and in keeping with the provincial health officer’s recommendations for physical distancing, we are limiting the number of visitors entering our buildings. Until further notice, these are the visitor restrictions at BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill:

Outpatient Clinics: ONE adult caregiver/support person
In-Patient Areas: TWO adult caregivers/support people
Emergency Department: ONE adult caregiver/support person

Hospital parking

Hospital parking fees around the province have been suspended as of April 1, 2020 until further notice, for patients, visitors and staff.

The most important thing you can do to prevent COVID-19 and other illnesses is to clean your hands regularly, avoid touching your face and stay two metres from other people. 


Find out more on the BCCDC website about:

 

Contact your primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1 (HealthLinkBC). HealthLinkBC has a translation service for over 130 languages. You can also take the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool at bc.thrive.health. To get non-medical information about COVID-19, call 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or text 604-630-0300. This service is available every day from 7:30 am to 8:00 pm. Information is available in more than 110 languages.


If your child is showing symptoms of COVID-19 and needs to be tested, you can show them the video below and read the story about helping children through a COVID-19 test.

When should I seek urgent care?

Take your child immediately to Emergency or call 911 if your child:

  • Is having difficulty breathing
  • Has blue lips or skin, or appears very pale
  • Is coughing excessively, particularly with a fever
  • Is vomiting excessively, especially if there is blood in the vomit
  • Has diarrhea and vomiting and is not producing tears, and has not urinated for several hours
  • Has a high fever, appears very sleepy, and has not improved with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).
  • Is under three months of age and has a fever of greater than 38 degrees C (100.4 degrees F)

‎So far, COVID-19 has affected adults much more than children. We think it is less severe, particularly in children under the age of 10.

 
 

‎If your child is at higher risk for COVID-19 complications, follow general infection prevention strategies: clean your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and stay two metres from other people. Should your child become ill, seek medical help early. Try to have enough medicine for two weeks at home. 


There is no evidence that COVID-19 affects children with medical complexity more than other people. 

Follow general infection prevention strategies: clean your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and stay two metres from other people. 


Find out more on this BCCDC PDF.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our BC Children’s Hospital Dental Department is open for emergency care only. Emergency dental care is defined as potentially life-threatening conditions, including:


  • Swelling and rash as a result of an uncontrolled infection, making it hard to breathe
  • Severe, uncontrolled bleeding
  • Trauma to the mouth or facial bones, causing breathing problems
  • Uncontrolled severe pain for more than 3 days (with regular Advil and Tylenol doses for 3 days)
  • Uncontrolled infection with significant facial swelling, oozing around the site and fever  
During the COVID-19 pandemic, non-essential dental visits at the BC Children’s Dental Department are not being scheduled at this time. Many dental problems can be managed over the phone by dental offices. BC Children’s Hospital’s Dental Department is open for emergency care only.

The BC Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN), which is operated out of Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children will continue to offer portions of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) assessments that can be completed remotely at this time. 


Remote options will be provided to families at the time of scheduling. This will be followed by an on-site assessment when it is deemed safe to do so by the provincial Public Health Officer. We will also continue to provide portions of developmental assessments remotely. 


All outpatient programs at Sunny Hill are able to provide remote assistance to families. Sunny Hill encourages virtual appointments, reducing face to face interactions as much as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.


If you have any concerns please call the main Sunny Hill line at 604-453-8300 and your call will be
directed to the appropriate person.


Getting your child tested for COVID-19

If your child is showing symptoms of COVID-19 and needs to be tested, BC Children's has created a video to show them before their test so they know what to expect. Read the story and watch the video:

 

More online resources about COVID-19

The Government of BC and the BCCDC put together this information for post-secondary students: 
BCCDC physician epidemiologist, Dr. Eleni Galanis, has this helpful video on how to protect your family: 
This link has instructions for children on when and how to wash their hands: 
For the latest COVID-19 updates, follow the BCCDC Twitter account @CDCofBC and read the latest BC Government news releases on COVID-19 at https://news.gov.bc.ca/Search?q=COVID.


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