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Keeping young children safe during COVID-19 pandemic

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State officials say a death investigation is underway for a Cook County infant who had tested positive for the Coronavirus. There is no official word yet if COVID-19 caused the child's death.

We spoke with doctors at OSF Healthcare to see how parents or guardians can protect the health of young children during this pandemic.

"This is kind of the interesting part of COVID-19, is that it really has not shown a predisposition, at least what is reported, to the newborn/infant...and pediatric population," said M. Jawad Javed, doctor of neonatal-perinatal medicine at OSF.

While Dr. Javed says infants are not necessarily an at-risk group, COVID-19 is still a novel virus and too much is unknown.

"I think this is where we have to be even more cognizant and take heed of the precaution because a lot of us don't know the effects," he added.

But what is known, according to Javet, is that some infants who are testing positive are asymptomatic, meaning they could be spreading the virus without their parents even knowing. That is why it is important everyone follow the CDC guidelines.

"In this era, social distancing is key and continuing to use good common sense of hand hygiene, making sure that you are washing your hands frequently," said Javed.

And during the pandemic, the doctor says newborns can still have welfare checks and vaccinations, but parents should expect different operational procedures as medical centers and hospitals work to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Javet says it is also important parents stay positive and talk with their kids about what is happening.

Andy Weber

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