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Children's doctor


The current surge of COVID-19 cases is concerning many of our clients. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that may address some of your questions. If you have any additional questions, please utilize the secure portal system to send us a message!

How long will my child be sick?

It is different for each child. On average, symptoms usually last 3-6 days. Some children are asymptomatic and do not experience any symptoms.

What symptoms are associated with COVID? 

The current variant (Omicron) appears to cause mild cold-like symptoms including sore throat, congestion/runny nose, headache, cough, fever. Some patients also have diarrhea/vomiting. Children who are vaccinated tend to experience less severe symptoms.


What medications do I use for fever?

**If your child is less than 2 months old and has a rectal temperature over 100.4 F please go to the ER** 

You can use children’s acetaminophen (Tylenol) and children’s ibuprofen (ages 6 months and older). Doses are weight based and can be found here: 


What medications do I use for cough, congestion, sore throat?

  • Honey for children over 12 months of age is our preferred treatment of cough.

  • Other over the counter cough medicines are not safe for children less than four years of age.  Zarbee’s is the exception.

  • Children four years and older may use children’s Mucinex, children’s Robitussen, children’s Sudafed (or their generic equivalents) and all other children’s cough/cold medications.  

  • We recommend frequent use of saline drops/spray for nasal congestion for all ages.

  • It is important to suction the noses of infants and toddlers frequently.

  • A cool mist humidifier in a child’s bedroom can reduce coughing and congestion.


What are warning signs that my child is getting worse and needs to be evaluated?

  • Difficulty breathing 

  • Extreme sleepiness/difficult to wake  

  • Fewer than three wet diapers a day for children still in diapers, not urinating at least once every 8 hours for children who are toilet trained 

  • Skin has blue/gray appearance 

  • Unable to hold liquids down if vomiting 

  • Blood in diarrhea


**If your child is experiencing worsening COVID symptoms please proceed to the Emergency Department at one of the many hospitals in the area**


Will antibiotics help?

No. COVID-19 is a virus. Antibiotics do not treat viruses


Is there any special medicine for COVID?

No. COVID-19 is a virus. Like other illnesses caused by viruses, treatment of COVID is supportive. Monoclonal antibodies are a treatment that is reserved only for those who are immunocompromised.  We do not offer this treatment.


What if my child starts vomiting or having diarrhea?

If your child begins vomiting and is unable to hold food, formula, or breast milk down:

  • Begin giving Pedialyte, an over-the-counter liquid sold in pharmacies, that prevents dehydration and replenishes electrolyte losses

  • Give frequent, small sips.  A good rule of thumb is one tablespoon every five minutes. Drinking large quantities quickly may trigger vomiting.

  • Children are often not hungry when they are ill. Your child can go up to a week without eating before it becomes worrisome. Most children regain their appetite within seven days.


My child tested positive on an at home test.  Do I need a lab based or PCR test, too?

No.  If the test result is positive then your child has COVID-19.

What if one of my children tests positive but everyone has symptoms? Do I need to test everyone in the home?

Based on CDC guidance, if one member of the home tests positive, everyone is considered positive, if they have COVID symptoms.  We are happy to test any child that needs a test, often it is required by school/daycare/work.


If my child tests positive, do we have to stay home? For how long?

The guidance from the CDC recently changed.  However, our office continues to recommend a 10-day isolation period for children who test positive. Please be advised that all local school districts are still following and enforcing a 10-day isolation period.


Can Stepping Stone Pediatrics test adult members of a positive household?

We can test adult caregivers with a PCR test that is sent to LabCorp for processing.  We charge a $20 specimen handling fee payable at the time of service.


We took all precautions to prevent COVID from entering our home. My children are now positive. How did this happen?

The latest variant (Omicron) is extremely contagious and passes easily from person to person. Research is being conducted to determine why Omicron is still able to infect people despite mitigation measures. Research has shown that having two doses of an mRNA vaccine plus a booster provides some protection against Omicron.


How can I keep my family safe from this new variant of COVID?

Continue previous mitigation measures such as social distancing, frequent hand washing, and mask wearing. Clean high touch surfaces frequently.  Don’t share personal items with one another.

What kind of mask should my child wear?

The Omicron variant is more infectious therefore, the CDC recommends using an N95 or KN95 mask. Surgical masks are effective at blocking the virus, but only if the mask fits snugly against your face. Gaps between the mask and your face allow virus particles to enter and infect you. If using a cloth mask, it is recommended to wear a mask that has two layers of material that fit snugly against your face. You may also wear a surgical mask with a cloth mask over it. Make sure to wear a mask that has a metal nose piece that molds to the shape of the nose to ensure a snugger fit. 

What if I have additional questions?
Please message us through the portal system during office hours. Due to overwhelming volume of calls, we may not be able to answer your call right away, especially during after hours. If you have questions after hours please utilize the Evergreen Nurses Line:  (425) 899-3000

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