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Haley’s Health Inbox: Should my kids wear masks?

Haley Hernandez
Haley Hernandez

KPRC Channel 2′s health reporter Haley Hernandez has been answering some of your emailed questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 here in the Houston area.

We are answering a few of the top questions each day. You can scroll down and read questions and answers from previous days.

My husband was told on Friday afternoon that one of his coworker’s wife tested positive for the virus. The coworker is negative. If my husband is not showing symptoms should he quarantine to be on the safe side?

I would recommend talking to your doctor if you’re concerned but I imagine they’ll tell him there’s nothing he can do unless he shows symptoms. It’s true, you can have the virus without feeling bad and test negative if you test too early but that’s really why leaders are stressing social distancing. I understand how important it is to keep going to work right now, so most of our leaders and doctors are saying to just take all the necessary precautions at work (handwashing, social distancing 6 feet away and covering coughs) and you should be OK.

What is the role of Respiratory Therapist in first-line treatment of COVID? Are only doctors and nurses the first-line health care workers?

No, it’s not just doctors and nurses on the front lines. Hospital staff includes specialists, surgeons, technicians, nurse practitioners, etc. The role of a respiratory therapist will be particularly important during this pandemic because they are responsible for managing oxygen and they operate the ventilators. All you’ve heard about the high demand for ventilators right now means the respiratory therapists are going to be critical to all the patients who need them. Therefore, they’re crucial in the fight against COVID-19.

Should my kids wear masks?

We asked Dr. Stan Spinner, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Texas Children’s Pediatrics and Texas Children’s Urgent Care about this one. Here is what he said:

The CDC now has guidelines stating that cloth face coverings should not be placed on children younger than 2 years of age. These recommendations do not pertain to surgical or procedural masks, as they are acceptable for children younger than 2 years of age. Children older than 2, should be advised to wear masks to help reduce the spread of the virus.

I saw the new expected peak date for COVID-19 in our area is now April 19. Do you think that means we can stop social distancing as much?

Good question. These new projections take into account that people will continue social distancing through April as planned. Dr. Peter Hotez, dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, is looking at the numbers and advising the city on stay-at-home policies. For now, Hotez does not recommend a change in the stay-home policy for Harris County.

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