If a vaccinated child is very exposed to Covid at home but is still healthy, parents may consider keeping the child at home to protect others. The masks go off for lunch. But this measure would go beyond the federal recommendations, and only one expert I spoke to recommended it.
Should I try to reduce the exposure in the household even if it seems in vain?
As parents know, the term “close contact” takes on a whole new meaning in young children, who seem to have an eerie ability to sneeze into your face. Still, experts agreed that it is still worth the effort to reduce exposure to each other’s diseases.
There is a small period of time where this is particularly important – between exposure and when the immune system begins to fully engage.
Parents have to look after children, and some siblings simply cannot be kept separate. Still, there are steps you can take. The person who first becomes ill should, if possible, be in his own room. Insert a HEPA filter if you have one. Try to get the sick person to stay in there for meals. Wear high quality masks when family members are together.
Open the windows. Place another HEPA filter if you have two where other family members spend time. Another pro tip: Keep the air at 40 to 60 percent humidity, which helps stop aerosol transmission, Dr. Pirzada, by using a hygrometer or a humidifier to measure the level.
Use common sense. When the air filters are running, the windows are cracked and masks are worn whenever possible; trying more can feel too much if a small child is ill. “If my child was sick, my natural instinct would be to take care of them,” said Dr. Linsey Marr, a leading expert in viral transmission. “I could see that I threw up my hands and trusted that the vaccine and my good health prevented me from getting seriously ill and cuddling with my child.”
The good news is that once you test positive, there is no evidence that exposure to other family members who are also positive will make you sicker, the experts agreed. And it is unlikely that the family members who first recover will be re-infected by those who are still ill.