COVID-19 testing: A child’s perspective

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Taking a si​​ck child in for a COVID-19 test can be stressful. The fear of the unknown to a child, and their parents, can create anxiety, especially if the child has symptoms that could be related to COVID-19. But you will fear no more once you hear what these kids had to say about their COVID-19 test.

“It was really no bi​g deal. It tickled the inside of my nose and then it was done,” says 11-year-old Aven, who had a test done after developing a fever, sore throat, runny nose and headache a few days after a small family wedding. “I was nervous to go but my dad had to get one done, too. He had been for one already and said he giggled because it tickled. He was right.”

When Smith, aged 8, h​ad to go for a COVID-19 test he said, “I cried when my mom told me I had to go.” Smith developed cold-like symptoms in early August, and with both parents working in health care and emergency services, his mom insisted on a COVID-19 test. Smith says that other kids shouldn’t be scared to go. “It was shorter than I thought it would be. It just tickled a bit, and my eyes watered a bit, but it didn’t hurt at all!”

Aven and Smith are n​ot alone in thinking the test is “no big deal.” Many kids have similar reactions to have their nose swabbed. Beth, age 8, had to get a COVID test because she was ill and her grandparents are high-risk. She said, “It was way easier than getting a needle.” And Kellsey, age 9, said, “It was fun! When they put the stick up my nose, I giggled because it tickled a lot.”

As children return to sch​​ool and influenza season rears its head, more children tend to develop cold or flu-like symptoms and may need to be swabbed for COVID-19. If your child needs to get tested, let them know that it might tickle, and as Beth said, it is way better than getting a needle!