COVID-19 Update:Learn more about how we are protecting our patients, families and staff, as well as other important facts about COVID-19.
COVID-19 FAQ for Parents of Immunosuppressed Patients
We understand that you may have questions about how coronavirus impacts your child, especially if your child is immunosuppressed due to current treatments.
Take a look at important information about COVID-19 testing for our immunosuppressed patients (PDF). In addition to the restrictions put in place by the current hospital visitation policy, the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders has put stronger measures in place to protect our immunosuppressed patients (PDF), who may be more susceptible to COVID-19. If we all, including you and your family, adhere to the infection control procedures put in place, the risk to our patient population will be smaller. Thank you for partnering with us to keep our patients safe.
Children are less affected than older adults but immunocompromised patients are, in general, at higher risk for infections.
Since COVID-19 is transmitted mostly by droplets and contact with contaminated objects, universal precautions apply:
- Keep 6 feet distance from other people when in public.
- Continue having your child wear a mask in public
- Wash your and your child’s hands with soap for at least 20 seconds frequently or use hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol, especially before eating, touching your face or after touching shared surfaces such as doorknobs, and after being outside the house.
- Teach your child to avoid touching his/her face as much as possible.
- Avoid large crowds.
- Avoid using public transportation, if possible.
- Ask everyone entering your home to wash their hands, and ask those with viral symptoms to avoid visiting.
Masks prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. When being outside the home in public and within 6 feet of other people, you and your child should continue to wear a mask. Please wear a mask when entering the hospital.
Children’s National Hospital is committed to the safety of all patients and has strict infection control policies in place. We screen patients and parents, caregivers, family members and visitors for the following COVID-19 symptoms at our Welcome Desks and check-in areas at all locations: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and/or respiratory symptoms. Any individual with signs/symptoms of infection are prohibited to visit.
For outpatient appointments:
- Up to 2 people can accompany one patient. Both people are required to wear a mask upon entering the facility and when facing staff members.
- No temperatures will be taken, but we will ask screening questions.
If you have safety concerns, you can discuss the possibility of delaying treatment with your care team. However, we do not know how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last, and it is important that your child receives timely treatments. See how Children’s National is protecting patients, families and staff and what to expect when you come to one of our facilities for care.
Please refer to the our most updated visitation policy. Right now, for inpatient visits at time of admission, each parent or caregiver may designate a maximum of four (4) individuals (additional caregivers, family or visitors), including themselves, who may visit the patient.
Inpatient visitors for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19:
- One family member is permitted to stay with the patient.
Inpatient visitors for patients without COVID-19:
- At the time of admission, each parent or caregiver may designate who can visit at the bedside. Parents or caregivers may designate a maximum of four (4) individuals (additional caregivers, family or visitors), including themselves, who may visit the patient. Siblings under 12 years of age may not visit at this time. A sibling between 12 and 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult member during the visit and at the patient's bedside (only 2 visitors).
- Only two (2) parents, caregivers, family members or visitors can be at the patient’s bedside at any given time. At least one (1) of these caregivers, family members or visitors must be a legal adult; this does not include the parents who can be at the bedside with their child.
- All parents, caregivers, family members and visitors are subject to COVID-19 screening when entering the hospital and arriving at the unit. Any individual with signs/symptoms of infection are prohibited to visit.
- Remember to bring your mask. All individuals are required to wear a mask when entering the hospital and when interacting with staff throughout their stay.
- When visiting, plan ahead and only arrive at Children’s National Hospital when it is time to see the patient.
Please follow the fever guidelines and call your assigned team or the oncologist on-call as outlined in the fever guidelines. Please inform them of your child’s symptoms so we can ensure that your child is isolated if a visit to the hospital is necessary. A primary caregiver without any symptoms must accompany your child.
Children’s National Hospital is committed to the safety of all patients and has strict infection control policies in place. Parents/caregivers with symptoms will not be able to enter the inpatient area. If a parent/caregiver develops a fever, shortness of breath, sore throat or respiratory symptoms, they have to leave the hospital. They will be permitted to return 10 days after the start of symptoms and 3 days after the last symptoms or a negative COVID-19 test and 24 hours without symptoms.
Please inform your doctor of the exposure prior to arrival. If your child needs to be seen, please send a primary caregiver who has not been exposed with the child. If that is not possible, please inform your care team. The hospital has policies in place to keep all of our patients safe while providing treatment. If treatment cannot be delayed, you and your child will remain isolated throughout your visit at the hospital.
As a precaution to protect our patients, families and staff, all patients scheduled for anesthesia will be tested for COVID-19 prior to their scheduled procedures. We are also testing patients prior to admission. This requires an additional visit to the hospital 1-2 days prior to the admission or procedure. Our schedulers will arrange your child’s COVID-19 testing appointment. It is important to inform your doctor of any new symptoms your child or any household member develops, even if the test comes back negative, so your doctor can decide whether your child needs repeat testing or testing for other common viral diseases.
We strongly believe that all of our patients should receive the best education possible and for most this includes in person education. For most children, we think they can safely return to school. For immunocompromised children, we consider your child’s treatments, your child’s immune status, number of COVID-19 cases and immunizations in your area and status of your school district before making recommendations about returning to school. Returning to school is an individual decision that you should discuss with your child’s doctor. Please discuss your child’s individual educational needs with your doctor and social worker.
Since this is an evolving situation, please refer to the following resources for the most updated information. We will update these recommendations as new information becomes available.