Help Parents Understand COVID-19 as Classes Resume
By David Doolittle


There are always plenty of questions that come with the first days of school. But as classes resume across the state, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a whole new set of questions for parents, guardians, students, and teachers:

How do I know if my child has contracted the virus that causes COVID-19?

What are the symptoms of COVID-19, and what should I do if those symptoms get worse?

What should I do if my child or someone in our household tests positive or negative?

My child had COVID-19 symptoms, but how do I know it’s safe for my child to return to classes?

To help your patients or their parents answer questions such as these, the Texas Medical Association has created several documents for you to share:

  • COVID-19 Pediatric Symptom Severity Chart and Parental Guide (in Spanish and English): This easy-to-read chart, first developed by the Bexar County Medical Society, describes COVID-19 symptoms from mild to severe along with steps to take for each symptom. The chart also has information on Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a severe reaction to the SARS-CoV-2 infection that is seen in children.
  • COVID-19 Test Results Patient Handout: This document is designed to help patients understand the results – positive or negative – of a COVID-19 diagnostic test, and what should be done to protect others and to stop the spread of the virus.
  • COVID-19 Return-to-School Note: This note lets school officials know that you have evaluated a student who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or who has been exposed to a person with COVID-19. It also describes conditions in which a student can be recommended to return to school, based on current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

In addition, TMA and the Texas Pediatric Society have developed several tools to help parents and guardians who are concerned about their child wearing a mask in school.

If you’re looking for more ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as students return to classes, check out the “School Reopening” section on the TMA COVID-19 Resource Center.

TMA also has created a COVID-19 Social Media Toolkit that includes a variety of posts, graphics, and information that you can share on your own social media pages.

Last Updated On

September 11, 2020

Originally Published On

September 11, 2020

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David Doolittle


(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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