COVID-19 stands for coronavirus disease 2019. This respiratory illness can be passed from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.
St. Jude offers several resources on COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 for families, patients and clinicians. The resources include a coronavirus coloring book, activity book, information on the COVID-19 registry for clinicians and more.
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing how we live, including our children. Your child may be confused or scared. You may not know what to say or how much to tell them about the disease or the pandemic. Together by St. Jude, a comprehensive online resource dedicated to pediatric cancer patients and their families, offers information about COVID-19, including:
Tips to help you talk to your child, including learning how your child is feeling and adjusting and how to reinforce normalcy during this uncertain time.
The St. Jude music therapy group has created videos that provide fun, instructional music videos for young children of different ages. Medical music therapists use music interventions, both instrumental and vocal, designed to promote positive changes in a child’s well-being, including reduction of anxiety and stress.
The St. Jude School Program has developed online instructional resources for grades K-12 that are easily accessed from home. Learning guides are posted with grade-specific lessons, activities and resources.
Teens may feel that certain rules and risks do not apply to them. You may have noticed your teen not taking the coronavirus seriously. Keep in mind teens may be hearing misinformation from others, including friends and social media.
Talk openly and explain any incorrect information your teenager may have. Stress the importance of using proven ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus, such as hand washing and staying at home.
Help your teen learn about social distancing, how to keep up with school and identify misinformation about this new coronavirus.
Information about COVID-19 continues to change daily, including how it affects people with cancer and survivors of cancer. Childhood cancer survivors may be at risk of a more severe illness with COVID-19. This could be due to conditions caused by the cancer treatments they had as a child.
The Global COVID-19 Observatory and Resource Center for Childhood Cancer is a hub for health care professionals to collaborate, connect and find the latest information on COVID-19 and its impact on pediatric cancer patients. This resource also provides a COVID-19 registry for childhood cancer patients. Clinicians and researchers are encouraged to contribute cases and explore the data.
Frontline clinicians: How to navigate difficult conversations with your childen about COVID-10
It’s difficult enough as a frontline clinician to care for patients during a pandemic. But what about your children?
Preparing for a Pandemic
Donating Items to St. Jude
Can I donate PPE (personal protective equipment) to St. Jude?
To help ensure St. Jude is prepared for the global supply chain issue, we have been working closely with our suppliers and vendors to take all appropriate measures to protect and care for our patients, families and employees during this unprecedented time. We appreciate offers to help with supplies. PPE suppliers wishing to work with St. Jude can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I donate homemade fabric masks to St. Jude?
Thank you for your support, but we cannot accept homemade fabric masks at this time.
How can I support St. Jude during this time?
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is called SARS-CoV-2.
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- Fever (suspected or actual temperature of 100.4°F/38.0°C or greater)
- Difficulty breathing
- Body aches
- Loss of smell or taste
COVID-19 can spread from close contact with an infected person. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, respiratory droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby (within 6 feet) or may possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
The virus may also be spread when people touch a surface with the virus and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. The virus may live on surfaces for up to a few days.
- Wash your hands often, especially after being in public places or after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Use soap and water, and scrub for at least 20 seconds.
- If you don’t have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your face, mouth and eyes.
- Avoid close contact (within about 6 feet) with people who may be sick. COVID-19 is spread through droplets from a person’s sneeze or cough.
- Cover coughs and sneezes and then wash your hands right away.
- Wear a mask if you are out in public.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched often.
Children seem to be at lower risk for serious illness due to COVID-19. This is based on initial results from other countries. This does not mean that children don’t get COVID-19, but they tend to have milder symptoms.
Based on what is currently known, the highest risk for complications with COVID-19 is seen in older adults and patients with chronic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, lung problems or in people with weak immune systems.
Families with children who have weakened immune systems due to an illness or medical condition should take extra care to prevent exposure to the virus. If symptoms develop, contact your doctor right away.
Cancer and cancer treatments can weaken the immune system. This means a person with cancer is often at higher risk for infection and illness.
In general, cancer can lower immunity and make it harder to fight infection in different ways:
The cancer or cancer treatment can lower the number of immune cells that attack germs.
Cancer treatments, including radiation and certain medicines, may weaken the skin or membranes lining the mouth and digestive tract. This can allow some kinds of germs to enter the body more easily. We don’t yet know if this affects risk in COVID-19.
We don’t know for sure if there is increased risk of severe illness in COVID-19 for pediatric cancer patients or other patients with weakened immune systems. But it’s possible that more severe illness could occur, so it is recommended to take precautions and watch carefully at this time.
Talk to your care team about the risk of COVID-19 and your child’s individual health needs.
- Know what to do if symptoms develop. Call ahead before going to the doctor except in an emergency.
- Make sure you have enough medicines and medical supplies on hand in case you must stay home due to an outbreak or quarantine. Talk to your doctor about options to get medicines such as shipping to your home.
- Ask your doctor about any upcoming medical visits and if they should be postponed. Your doctor may recommend waiting on some types of appointments if they can be delayed.
- Limit potential exposure by avoiding travel, crowds, public places, and contact with people, especially those who may be sick. This is sometimes called “social isolation” or “social distancing.” Learn more about social distancing.
- Pay attention to symptoms and monitor for signs of infection.
- Know warning signs that require emergency care.