For parents it can be uncertain times when a kid may begin to cough or have a fever and with safer at home orders in place across Southern California, many aren’t able to stop into a doctor’s office to be seen. Dr. Danelle Fisher, Vice Chair of Pediatrics at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, tells Inside the Issues many times kids may be showing some but not all symptoms of COVID-19 and the challenges that presents.

“Fever is not absolute for COVID,” she said. “We know that many kids, especially looking at studies out of China, many kids have fever at the time of presentation, or sometimes during their hospitalization, but the lack of fever, does not rule it out and that’s something that we always have to keep in mind is that these symptoms can be not quite typical in kids.”

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She said when she talks to patients, she never talks in absolutes and sometimes suspects a kid might be infected with the virus, but that telemedicine visits are important so that she can see the state of the child. 

“One of the things video visits does, it allows you to actually see a kid. It allows you to actually see a patient, and that visualization is really, really helpful. From my training, and this is really something that you learn after years and years of working with both healthy and sick children, you kind of start getting a Gestalt about what's a sick kid,” she said.

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She said these telemedicine appointments are important to assess a child’s breathing, since respiratory infections are a symptom

“We talk a lot about breathing, we talk a lot about what normal breathing is. I’m telling them what to look out for. I’m telling them, in certain cases, I think it might be COVID. Do your very best to stay home and treat them at home and call us back if, and then we give a bunch of symptoms that we’re looking for,” she said. “Fever is one of them, breathing is a very big one, and it's a scary one, and staying hydrated is another one that’s really really important. I would never say to a family ‘I don’t think this is coronavirus,’ because I really don't know. In some cases I think it might be.”

A healthcare provider during this pandemic, Dr. Fisher described it as scary and something she said she will remember for the rest of her career.

“I'm going to speak for a lot of doctors here when I would say that I am confounded, fascinated [and] frustrated with this whole situation,” she said. “We are taught not just to practice medicine, but to practice the best medicine and it's very hard to practice to the best of your ability when you have limitations.”

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“This is very much like wartime. We’re dealing with a lack of lack of equipment, lack of things that  really help us practice to the best of our ability and we don’t have those, in certain situations, hospitals are overloaded, things happen all at once.”

Dr. Fisher also talks about the effects the novel coronavirus and safer at home order are having on routine vaccine and check-up schedules for kids and how they will phase into going back to normal once the pandemic is no longer.

Watch the clip above for more.

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