KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — With the community-wide spread of COVID-19 high in our area, many kids are at home sick with the virus leaving parents looking for the best way to care for them.

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital says that staying home when sick is extremely important. While a handful of kids have been hospitalized, the majority are dealing with mild symptoms at home. The omicron variant is proving more contagious than previous variants and unvaccinated people are the least protected from the virus.

ETCH said to separate from other members of the family who aren’t sick as much as possible, wash hands and disinfect surfaces. Other things that can be done to help include:

  • Over the counter fever medication can help.
  • Keep hydrated by drinking lots of fluids.
  • Rest as much as possible.
  • Make sure to follow up with your child’s doctor after recovering, regardless of severity of illness, there can be lingering or new symptoms we may need to address.

Emergency warning signs: (call 911 immediately)

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds

Prevention Tips from ETCH

  • Vaccination for children who are eligible to receive the vaccine (talk with your child’s doctor about any concerns)
  • Social distancing
  • Masking in indoor, public places, is also still recommended as part of a layered approach of defense
  • Good hand washing