If a vaccinated child is highly exposed to Covid at home but is still healthy, parents may want to consider keeping that child at home to protect others. Masks go off during lunch. But this measure would go beyond federal recommendations, and only one expert I spoke to recommended it.
Should I try to reduce exposure in the household, even if it seems pointless?
As parents know, the term “close contact” takes on a whole new meaning in young children, who seem to have an uncanny ability to sneeze in your face. Still, the experts agreed that reducing exposure to each other’s diseases is still worth the effort.
There is a small time frame when this is particularly important – between exposure and when the immune system starts to work fully.
Parents have to take care of children and some siblings just can’t be kept apart. Still, there are steps you can take. Whoever gets sick first should be in his or her own room, if possible. Put a HEPA filter in it, if you have one. Try to let the sick person stay 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 transfer, said Dr. Pirzada, by using a hygrometer or a humidifier to measure the level.
Use common sense. Once the air filters work, the windows will be cracked and masks will be worn whenever possible; trying more can seem like too much when a young child is sick. “If my child were sick, my natural instinct would be to take care of them,” says Dr. Linsey Marr, a leading expert on viral transmission. “I watched as I threw my hands in the air, relying on the vaccine and my good health to avoid getting seriously ill and cuddling with my child.†
The good news is that once you test positive, there’s no evidence that exposure to other family members who are also positive will make you sicker, the experts agreed. And the relatives who recover first are not likely to be re-infected by those who are still sick.