Mighty Blog

COVID-19 and preexisting conditions: What you need to know

Last update: 6/2/2020. 

Researching COVID-19 is still underway and experts continue to learn about the illness. One thing we do know is that adults with preexisting conditions may experience worse symptoms of the illness.  There is no data on children with pre-existing conditions so we continue to watch the literature on this topic and can only infer from adult information at this point.  This can be scary, especially for parents of kids who are immunosuppressed or have other underlying conditions.

Children’s Minnesota is sharing what you need to know about caring for kids with preexisting conditions as we navigate the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic together.

Tips to keep kids healthy

Everyone, whether or not you have a preexisting condition, should follow these safety precautions to help prevent COVID-19 infections:

  • Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow, then toss tissues in the trash can as soon as possible.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home except for essential trips, even if you are feeling well.
  • Social distancing is important. Avoid crowds. If you must leave home, stand 6 feet away from others, do not shake hands. If crowds cannot be avoided, wear a cloth mask.
  • Clean high touch surfaces in your home with usual household cleaners and disinfectants.

What to do if your child has COVID-19 symptoms

If you believe your child has been exposed to COVID-19 or is showing symptoms of COVID-19, we urge you to first call your health care provider. Please call ahead before visiting a clinic or emergency room to ensure care teams will be prepared for your arrival.

What to do if your child has a preexisting condition

We understand that caring for kids with preexisting conditions can be extra stressful during the time of COVID-19. Experts from our clinics that specialize in the care of kids with asthma, cancer and blood disorders, diabetes, and HIV compiled resources for your family during this difficult time.

Asthma and COVID-19

The Children’s Minnesota asthma care team compiled resources and information that will help you keep your child with asthma safe and healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak. They cover topics ranging from: How to make sure you are prepared to care for your child at home, which medications to keep on hand, instructions for inhaler use and tips to avoid asthma triggers.

These resources can be found here: Information about asthma and COVID-19 (Also available in Spanish, Somali, Hmong and Karen).

Cancer and blood disorders and COVID-19

The cancer and blood disorders clinic at Children’s Minnesota compiled resources to help families of patients with cancer or blood disorders reduce stress and support each other during this difficult time.

These resources can be found here: Cancer and blood disorders clinic COVID-19 response (Also available in Spanish, Somali, Hmong and Karen).

Diabetes and COVID-19

The diabetes care team at Children’s Minnesota shares what parents need to know about caring for a child with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic. They share tips on the supplies you should have at home, what to do if your child gets sick, questions you should ask your provider and when to call your clinic.

These tips can be found here: Information about diabetes and COVID-19 (Also available in Spanish, Somali, Hmong and Karen).

HIV and COVID-19

The care team from the Children’s Minnesota perinatal and pediatric HIV program shares what parents need to know about caring for a child with HIV at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More resources can be found here: Information about HIV and COVID-19 (Also available in Spanish, Somali, Hmong and Karen).

The latest COVID-19 information

Information about COVID-19 changes rapidly. We encourage you to follow the guidance from your Children’s Minnesota care team, and check back for up-to-date information: