Testing for COVID-19
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Testing for COVID-19 in children

Parents have questions. We have answers.

Should I get my child tested for COVID-19? Can my child get tested and if so, where?
The only reason to get tested at this point for COVID-19 is if your child is coming into the hospital with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. These symptoms are wide ranging and could include fever, respiratory symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms, and/or sore throat. At this time, most children with these symptoms do not have COVID-19, so we are not testing every child with these symptoms. At Children’s Hospital, we are only testing children who need to be admitted to the hospital with these types of symptoms. Otherwise, we are comfortable sending children home with their families with instructions on how to properly self-isolate until symptom free.

What is MIS-C? Should I be worried about it?
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a disease, specific to children, that appears to be associated with COVID-19 infection. MIS-C can cause inflammation and compromise the function of many different organs in the body including the heart, the kidneys, the liver, and the gastrointestinal tract. The syndrome becomes apparent weeks after a COVID-19 infection. Parents should watch for fever, a red and blotchy rash, diarrhea and vomiting as signs of MIS-C. If these symptoms develop, parents should bring their child to the nearest emergency department immediately.

Click here to learn more about Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children.

What should I know about antibody testing and should my family get tested?
We are still in the early stages of understanding what antibody testing means. Regardless of having antibodies or not, the rules of strict social and physical distancing and hand hygiene remain. There is no urgency to get you or your child tested for antibodies.

Can my child get me sick with COVID-19?
Yes! While children have been less affected by COVID-19 than adults, if your child does contract the virus, they can pass it on to others.

Who can I call if I have more questions?
Call your child’s primary care provider with any questions or concerns. The primary care providers can reach out and partner with our experts here at CHNOLA if they have any specific concerns related to COVID-19.