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Children/Youth with Special Healthcare Needs - COVID-19 Checklist

COVID-19 Checklist for Families with Children/Youth with

Special Healthcare Needs

Protecting Against COVID-19

Symptoms associated with COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) can range from minor to severe, and while it appears children are less likely to become seriously ill, anyone with immune deficiency or suppression or a chronic illness – such as asthma, emphysema, heart disease, lung disease, or other conditions – may be at higher risk.

There does not appear to be evidence indicating that children with medical complexity (CMC) develop more serious symptoms; however, it is recommended that anyone who has a serious long-term health problem take precautionary actions to reduce the risk of getting sick with the virus. These actions include distancing from others and going out only when absolutely necessary, as well as the preventative measures listed in the below graphic.

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, also strongly recommends that families with young people with special healthcare needs:

  • Stock up medications, durable medical equipment (DME), special nutritionals, and other supplies, and be prepared to stay home for an extended period. You may need to contact your physician for extra medication or change to a mail-order pharmacy to obtain more than a month’s supply. Try to keep a 90-day supply on hand. For children with asthma, it is important to have extra inhalers and to follow your asthma plan.
  • Keep family emergency preparedness kits well stocked with food, water, household supplies and other items. If you have a go-bag, such as an emergency kit for a tracheostomy or gastronomy tube (G-tube), make sure it is complete and stocked with back up supplies.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect DME, assistive technology and adaptive equipment.
  • Understand that protective equipment — gloves, water repellent gowns, face shields — may be necessary for home care workers, especially for children with secretions. Please limit use when possible due to concerns over severe shortages.
  • Keep children with symptoms isolated from those without, particularly children with medical complexity.
  • Ask home nurses and other healthcare workers to stay away if they have COVID-19 symptoms. Workers who do visit should take extra precautions when caring for your child. Plan for absences and changes in schedule.
  • Consider arranging alternative strategies for home visitors, such as video chats or phone calls.
  • Develop a plan for emergency caregivers in case family members or guardians become ill. Try to assure that children are cared for by people they know so there are minimal separations from familiar caregivers. If service animals are in the house, make sure that the children and animals can stay together.
  • Any testing for COVID-19 requires a doctor’s order. Do not go to the emergency department or urgent care to obtain a test. If you believe that your child needs to be evaluated, call your pediatrician in advance to make sure that the office or clinic is prepared for isolation.

For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4ASKODH (1-833-427-5634).

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call the COVID-19 CareLine at 1-800-720-9616.

Prevention Infographic

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by taking these precautions.

  • Stay home except for work or other needs
  • Wear a face covering when going out
  • Practice social distancing of at least 6 feet from others
  • Shop at non-peak hours.
  • Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Clean and disinfect "high-touch" surfaces often
  • Don’t work when sick
  • Call before visiting your doctor

If you have questions regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 please call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)


High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

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