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Season for sniffles: What to consider if children get sick
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Season for sniffles: What to consider if children get sick

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Pre-pandemic, rarely would a bout of the sniffles be something to worry about. Kids get colds all the time, especially during fall and winter. But then came the coronavirus.

“It’s honestly very difficult to tell the difference between COVID and another virus that would cause a common cold,” says Dr. Craig Shapiro, pediatric infectious diseases specialist, Nemours/Alfred I. du Pont Hospital for Children. “A lot of the symptoms are similar, and so this year in particular, we have to be more cautious and aware.”

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The coronavirus appears less severe in children. But kids can spread the deadly virus to others. This has left many parents wondering: What do I do if my kid gets a runny nose or a cough? Do they need to stay home from school? For how long? Does the whole family have to quarantine? How do I know if it’s just a cold or the coronavirus?

“I’m a physician, but I’m a parent too, and it can be quite difficult to make these decisions,” says Shapiro. “We have to remember, it’s not just you who this is affecting — it could be your entire community.”

Here’s what to do if your child gets sick:

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