COVID-19 tips from the mom of a child with cystic fibrosis

My household is no stranger to germ precautions. My 2-year-old daughter, Hazel, has cystic fibrosis, which means she is at a greater risk of getting lung infections because of the thick, sticky mucus that builds up in her lungs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with underlying health conditions, including lung disease, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19. While it is important to protect myself from this virus, it is vitally important that I protect more vulnerable people, like my daughter.

I speculate that cystic fibrosis moms feel every day how the general public feels during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To keep Hazel healthy, I am communicating regularly with her cystic fibrosis care team at Norton Children’s. They have given me a few recommendations that I have found helpful. To keep Hazel and our family healthy, we are:

  • Washing our hands more regularly. We have definitely increased the frequency in our household. Hazel loves singing “Happy Birthday” a few times through while we wash our hands.
  • We are keeping Hazel’s doctor’s appointments, making the most of drive-up grocery/retail services, and Hazel is still at her medical day care facility. We are staying at home as much as possible and avoiding crowds.
  • We are stocking up on the essentials. We have worked with our pharmacy to get extra refills of Hazel’s medicine, and we have a few freezer meals and other essentials in case we can’t leave the house for an extended period of time.
  • We are continually listening to the recommendations of our medical providers, the governor and the CDC so that we can maintain our level of “reasonable caution.”

My daughter is required to wear a mask when she enters a medical setting, as she so often does. It is so important for those masks to be available for her and the health care workers who take care of her. While I might recover quickly if I contract COVID-19, others who would be in contact with me might not. Washing our hands, staying away from those who are sick and being sensibly prepared are the ways we are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.


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