'They put it in my nose!' Video prepares B.C. kids for a COVID test
VANCOUVER -- Her dad is a medical microbiologist at BC Children's Hospital, so it's no surprise 6-year-old Ella Goldfarb hears about COVID-19 a lot at home.
"It was something she actually got interested in, and said, 'Can I get a test?' And I thought it's kind of a good thing if kids aren't frightened by it and know what to expect," said Dr. David Goldfarb.
So he teamed up with BC Children's to make a video of Ella getting swabbed for COVID-19, which has already been viewed more than 40,000 times.
The video shows Ella sitting in her dad's lap. He holds her forehead while a nurse inserts the long swab.
"They put it in my nose!" Ella said in an interview with CTV News about the test. "It hurt a little bit, but it didn't hurt that much."
"Ella was amazing," said BC Children's Hospital ER nurse Nicole Sacco who administered the nasal swab. "She was prepared for the test, she knew where the swab was going, and we talked to her about it beforehand, and she took it really well."
But that isn't always the case.
"I think the kids that are most upset are the older kids who are surprised by how far the swab goes back, so I think there's power in explaining that," said Sacco.
Dr. Goldfarb hopes parents watch the video with their children before they're tested for COVID-19, to show them what to expect and to help reduce their anxiety. Health care providers can learn from it too.
"We wanted to make sure kids would feel comfortable being tested and centres would feel comfortable testing them," said Goldfarb.
He expects more B.C. children will be tested for COVID this fall when they return to classrooms.
"That's part of the planning is to make sure our collection centres can handle the potential increased volume of kids."
So far 15,637 COVID-19 tests have been done on British Columbians under the age of 20. Two per cent of positive cases in B.C. were under 10 years old, and 3 per cent were between 10 and 20.
"There is not a magic number of 10, but the older you get, it seems you're more likely to spread," said Dr. Goldfarb.
His daughter Ella's test came back negative. But if the video informs and calms other kids about to get swabbed, Goldfarb says that's a positive.