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COVID-19 Advice for Parents from Dr. Peramsetty of First Care Tuscaloosa

We can all agree that if there’s been one good thing we’ve learned about COVID-19 over the last several months, it’s that it typically does not affect children as severely as it does adults. Dr. Ramesh Peramsetty, chief physician and owner of First Care and Crimson Care in Tuscaloosa, says this is the trend he has seen at his clinics.

Regardless, Dr. Peramsetty understands that it’s hard for parents any time a child is sick, whether they have COVID or another illness. While a COVID diagnosis may be particularly alarming, Dr. Peramsetty has options and advice for testing, treatment, prevention, and more.

Start With COVID-19 Prevention for Kids

For children and adults, preventing COVID-19 is the first goal to aim for, if at all possible.

“It’s impossible and unrealistic for kids to social distance and wear masks all the time,” Dr. Peramsetty says. “It’s important for parents and children to have a good understanding of the virus, and when possible, I am still in favor of kids doing virtual school some or all of the time to minimize potential exposure.”

There are several other strategies for prevention as well, such as:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being out in public places, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Be sure to cover all surfaces of your hands, and rub them together until they feel dry.

  • Always avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Remind children of this often.

  • Inside your home, avoid close contact with people who are sick. As much as possible, keep 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.

  • Outside your home, maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and those you do not live with.

  • Always wear a mask in public spaces and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are hard to maintain.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash.

  • Each day, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, and more.

  • Watch closely for symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Check your child’s temperature regularly, especially if symptoms develop.

Treating COVID-19 in Children

When a child is diagnosed with COVID-19 despite your best preventative efforts, it is nothing to panic about, says Dr. Peramsetty.

“Especially important will be having the child isolate as much as possible in their room and away from any high risk individuals who also live in the home. Have the child use a separate bathroom, if possible, and practice proper hand hygiene,” says Dr. Permasetty.

When seeing children with COVID, he adds that symptoms are usually consistent with those of an upper respiratory infection. This typically includes runny nose, sneezing, congestion, and cough. The great news is that these symptoms can usually be managed well at home while the child continues to isolate. Dr. Peramsetty might prescribe Tylenol and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as Ibuprofen and Advil, if the child has fever, body aches, or a headache.

“We will want to monitor children who have underlying health conditions more closely,” says Dr. Peramsetty. “If your child develops more serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, or severe dehydration, a trip to the emergency room may be necessary.”

COVID-19 Testing for Children

No one enjoys having a COVID-19 test done, and it can be particularly challenging for children. A nose swab is uncomfortable and burdensome for the child, parents, and health care workers. To improve the testing experience for all involved, we typically do a throat swab for kids. This approach is effective and easier to handle.

At First Care and Crimson Care, we offer drive-up testing, which can also make the experience easier. For children who are showing COVID-19 symptoms, we typically do the rapid test, which will deliver results in about 15 minutes. If a child has no COVID symptoms but may have had exposure to the disease, it’s more likely that we will perform a PCR test. In this case, you will receive results within 24 to 48 hours by telephone or email.

Parents should take heart in the fact that children continue to see mild illness related to COVID-19. Dr. Peramsetty knows how to manage symptoms that kids do experience, and he provides the best possible care to get the entire family through a COVID diagnosis and treatment period.

Let Crimson Care provide you with the best medical services Tuscaloosa has to offer, including COVID-19 treatment for children and the entire family

Dr. Ramesh Peramsetty -- along with the whole First Care clinical staff -- is committed to offering critical medical services during the COVID-19 pandemic. First Care is conveniently located between DCH regional Medical Center and Northport DCH on McFarland Boulevard. We offer extended weekday hours and Saturday and Sunday hours. We are a one-stop treatment facility, including medical care, x-rays, lab work, and prescription dispensing. Visit our website, or call us today at First Care: (205) 349-2323.

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