COVID-19 Pediatrics FAQs

Your and your child’s health and safety remains our top priority. In an effort to continue protecting our patients and staff throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some adjustments to our pediatric services. We will continue to update this page with updates and information.

Are the pediatric primary care clinics open?

Yes. All of our clinics are open for well visits, school physicals and immunizations. It is important that your children do not get behind on their vaccinations so they can remain protected from serious and sometimes life-threatening illnesses. Please do not delay these important visits. Please call (312) 942-3034 to make an appointment.

We are offering in-person, scheduled non-COVID sick visits at all of our locations. All in-person appointments related to COVID-19 will be scheduled at our Westgate location. Please call (312) 942-3034 to schedule an appointment or for home care advice. 

Are you still offering walk-in care?

We are temporarily no longer offering walk-in care at any of our pediatric primary care locations.

Can we still make an appointment if my child is sick?

We are seeing children for in-person schedule sick visits in our Westgate location at 1645 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 200, Chicago. Please call (312) 942-3034 for sick visit appointment availability at the Westgate location.

If your child has a fever, cough, shortness of breath or other COVID-19 symptoms, you may also start a pediatric video visit with a Rush provider. Please call (312) 942-3034 for home care advice and to possibly schedule a sick visit, if needed.

Are virtual care options available?

Rush offers a number of virtual care options for children:

On-demand video visits: On-demand video visits are a fast, easy and convenient way to get your child care for allergies, concern for COVID-19, cough, cold, flu, constipation, diaper rash, diarrhea, lice, rash, red eye, wound checks and more. These visits are available for children ages 3 months and up. On-demand video visits are available seven days a week, from 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. For the best possible experience, access video visits on the My Rush app, available on the App Store and Google Play.

Scheduled video visits: We also offer scheduled video visits – available for primary and specialty care, including behavioral health – with your child’s provider. During a scheduled video visit, you will have a one-on-one video chat with your provider about your child’s health issue. If your child needs prescriptions, your provider will send them to your pharmacy of choice. Learn more about scheduled video visits.

Your pediatrician may also reach out to you about converting your child’s in-person appointment to video, if appropriate. Virtual visits are currently covered by Illinois insurance plans.

Are you still doing well-child visits (including physicals and immunizations)?

Yes. Please do not delay or postpone these important appointments. We are still seeing babies, children and teenagers for well-child visits and immunizations at all of our locations.

What should I do if my child is due for vaccinations?

You should not delay these important appointments. We are still immunizing kids at our open locations. Please call to make an appointment for your child.

What should I do if my child is showing symptoms of COVID-19?

If your child has a cough, fever or shortness of breath, please either start a video visit with a Rush pediatric provider or call our pediatric offices and discuss your child’s symptoms with one of our nurses. It will then be decided if your child needs to be seen for a sick visit in our office, if they need COVID-19 testing, or if they just need home care provided by you at home with no testing.

How serious is COVID-19 in children?

Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date. You can learn more about who is most at risk for health problems if they have COVID-19 on the CDC’s current risk assessment page.

Can I safely breastfeed if I have been diagnosed with COVID-19?

We are following the CDC’s guidelines for breastfeeding. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. However, much is unknown about COVID-19. Whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding should be determined by the mother in coordination with her family and health care providers.

A mother with confirmed COVID-19 or who is a symptomatic patient under investigation (PUI) should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her baby, including washing her hands before touching the baby and wearing a face mask, if possible, while feeding at the breast. If expressing breast milk with a manual or electric breast pump, the mother should wash her hands before touching any pump or bottle parts and follow recommendations for proper pump cleaning after each use. If possible, consider having someone who is not sick feed the expressed breast milk to the baby.

If I am pregnant and have been diagnosed with COVID-19, will I pass this to my unborn child?

We still do not know if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus that causes COVID-19 to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. No babies born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. In these cases, which are a small number, the virus was not found in samples of amniotic fluid or breastmilk.

What should I do in terms of taking care of my child if I have symptoms of or have been diagnosed with COVID-19?

As difficult as this may be with children, if you have tested positive for COVID-19, you must stay home and away from others for the following amount of time:

  • At least 10 days since your symptoms first appeared
  • At least 3 days (72 hours) with no fever (without using fever-reducing medications) and improving symptoms

Separate yourself from other people as much as possible. Whenever possible, follow these guidelines:

  • Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home
  • Use a separate bathroom, if available
  • Wear a face mask and cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean your hands often
  • Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day
  • Monitor your symptoms
How can I get support with managing challenging behaviors at home, adjusting daily routines, addressing anxiety, maintaining self-care or family stress?

If your child or family regularly sees a behavioral health provider (e.g., psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse practitioner, counselor, therapist) at Rush and you have concerns about your child’s behavior or emotions, please contact your provider directly to schedule a virtual visit. If you do not currently have a behavioral health provider, call our child/adolescent behavioral health team at (312) 563-6651 to leave a voicemail with your child’s name and your phone number. You’ll receive a call back within an hour to schedule a virtual visit with a behavioral health specialist, including our team of psychologists, clinical social workers and licensed counselors. Visits are usually scheduled for the same day or next day.

Our clinicians have expertise working with families with children from birth through young adulthood (25 years old), as well as children with special needs, such as anxiety, autism, developmental delays or ADHD. We are available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions About Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C)

While most children who have COVID-19 have mild symptoms, doctors are seeing some children with a new complication called multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). This is a rare but serious condition that requires hospitalization. We’ve put together some information about MIS-C and what Rush is doing to care for children with this MIS-C. As this is a new condition, we will continue to update this information with any new developments about MIS-C.

What is multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C)?

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare but serious condition that causes inflammation in the different parts of the body. While it is still unclear what causes MIS-C, we know that many children diagnosed with MIS-C have had either exposure to someone with COVID-19 or a history of COVID-19, either diagnosed based on symptoms or by a positive test for the virus. This history of COVID-19 exposure or infection in a child often occurs several weeks before the onset of MIS-C.

Isn’t COVID-19 usually a mild disease in children?

Yes. The majority of children with COVID-19 do well and have either no symptoms or mild flu-like symptoms and do not require any medical treatment.

Are MIS-C and Kawasaki disease the same thing?

No. When MIS-C was first discovered in the United Kingdom, some of the children had symptoms very similar to Kawasaki disease, such as fever, rash, red eyes, red lips and swollen hands and feet. However, MIS-C can have many different appearances depending on which areas of the body have the inflammation associated with the illness. Children with MIS-C often have complaints of severe belly pain, vomiting or diarrhea, which are not typical symptoms in children with Kawasaki disease. Additionally, children with Kawasaki disease are typically younger (less than 5 years old), whereas children with MIS-C tend to be school-age children.

What are the symptoms of MIS-C?

Not all children with MIS-C have the same symptoms. Some MIS-C symptoms include fever, belly pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, red eyes, swelling of the hands and feet, irritability or fatigue. Contact your child’s pediatrician if your child has these symptoms.

Seek medical care right away if your child has severe abdominal pain, trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest, inability to wake or stay awake, confusion or bluish lips or face.

How will my child be taken care of if they have MIS-C?

MIS-C is a treatable disease. Children with MIS-C will need to be taken care of in the hospital and some will need treatment in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Some children with MIS-C have low blood pressure and inflammation of the heart and other organs that require fluids and medicine to get better. Your child’s doctors will order blood tests and imaging studies such as chest x-ray and heart and abdominal ultrasounds to look at your child’s organs.

What is Rush University Medical Center doing to help?

Rush University Medical Center is working with state and local health departments, professional societies, scientists and other hospitals nationally and across the Chicago area to collect data on children with MIS-C to help understand which children are most at risk for this rare disorder, the best therapies, and the best ways to provide care for children in the hospital and long-term.

Rush has formed a team of pediatric specialists from various disciplines, such as infectious diseases, cardiology, immunology, gastroenterology, hematology and front-line health care providers that will be immediately ready and available to treat children with MIS-C. Rush has been a leader in providing COVID-19 care throughout the pandemic and has already cared for several hundred children with COVID-19 illness.

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