We’ve been living in a world of Coronavirus for months now and it’s turned me into a neurotic mess. Every time my child sneezes, I tremble that it’s the virus. But should I (or you) be taking our kids for a COVID test every time they get a cold?
One of the side-effects of the pandemic is that parents have been more vigilant at keeping their children home from school at any sign of a cold. This has helped stem the spread of coughs and colds and the whole family has benefitted.
But, especially with the change of season, those pesky snotty noses are bound to stuff things up. But should we be rushing our kids off for a COVID test every time they cough? The test isn’t exactly pleasant so I’d rather not put my kids through it if I don’t have to.
Does My Kid Need A COVID Test?
The department of health has emphasised the importance of the COVID test and has urged people to have a test if even the mildest of symptoms pop up.
“Any cough, fever, sore throat is COVID until proven otherwise. We have an obligation to protect other people,” Dr Sam Hay explained to Kidspot.
“What’s challenging is in reality if anybody has got literally just a mild runny nose and they are completely well – kids who are acting fine, eating, sleeping, not irritable and all you see is a little bit of snot coming out, then that is most likely going to be a common cold,” Dr Hay says.
“Even a serious cold is most likely going to be a common cold, but we all have an obligation at the moment to protect other people from COVID because that’s the most dangerous issue.”
What’s The Risk?
Dr Hay said that families need to take into account their risk factor as well as their location, when considering their decision to get a COVID test.
“If you’re in Victoria and you present with any of those symptoms – even the most mild runny nose – there’s a bloody good chance it’s COVID,” he says.
If you’re in NSW, the risk is still “ridiculously low” and if you’re South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania or Northern Territory, “the risk of that being COVID is so infinitely close to zero.”
Get Another Opinion
While the official message is that you should get the COVID test, Dr Hay says “if you’re right on the mild end of a runny nose and you’re happy to keep your kids home until it’s all settled down, then that’s fine. But you do need to consider our obligations and consider going to get a COVID test”.
“Schools or daycare centres won’t let you back until you’ve had a COVID test and I think that’s pretty reasonable. You should contact your GP and have a conversation with them. Then you can both decide together if you really do need the COVID test or not. But you shouldn’t be making that decision on your own.”
Many parents will not be rushing off their kids to have the uncomfortable swab test.
What Parents Think
One mum wrote on facebook: “I won’t test my kids for a sniffle nose etc we all suffer from hay fever and allergies 99% of the time, if i was so concerned i would just self isolate for 2 weeks.”
Another said: “Kids get on average 8 to 10 colds per year i never rushed the kids to the dr b4 covid unless high fever and really chesty I ain’t doing it now waste of time and besides apparently you can be asystematic and have it so we should all go get tested every day by this theory.”
However, other parents are fully supportive of the need to get the COVID test done on their kids.
“My boys have had it done, brain tickle is what we called it. Not a hard test to have done plus it is better to be safe then sorry…and you don’t want to pass it on to vulnerable people including grandparents,” said one parent.
“Get it done. It’s a small price to pay compared to what others are going through. It’s the way of the world now, we have to. It’s that simple.”
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