How to test your child for COVID-19 with an at-home test
Feb 17, 2023 • 6 min
As a mother of two, pharmacist Emily Shafer understands that all moms want to do what’s best for their families. And when it comes to COVID-19, one of the best ways to keep everyone protected is by checking for the virus with an at-home test. Shafer shows us how to administer the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test to children with a nasal swab. These easy-to-use, safe and reliable at-home tests are available at your local Walgreens without a prescription.
Now that self-administered COVID-19 tests are available, you can test your child for COVID-19 in your own home, on your own time, and without a prescription.
Today we'll give you some tips for doing a successful at-home test on your child and walk you through how to administer the test.
At-home tests are helpful if you have symptoms of COVID-19, if a test is required before going to school or work, or if you're getting together with friends or family who are not in your household. Today we're going to use the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test Kit. This is an easy to use antigen self test, and you can get results in 15 minutes. It's available over the counter at your local Walgreens.
Here's what you'll need: the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test, a clean surface, a timer, gloves--they're recommended, but not included--and something for your child to hold like their favorite stuffed animal, something fun for your child to do while you wait for results like a book, and then prepare your child to count to five during the test. The kit includes two tests for repeat testing. You'll test your child twice within three days with at least 36 hours between tests.
Frequent testing may help you detect COVID-19 more quickly and reduce the spread of infection. So in the box, you'll find two test cards, two dropper bottles, two swabs, your COVID-19 fact sheet and your instructions. Read the instructions carefully before starting the test. First, wash and sanitize your hands. Make sure they're dry before starting. Take one test card, one dropper bottle, one swab and your timer. Remove the test card from the pouch and lay it flat on the table for the entire test.
Make sure there's a blue line showing in the result window. If you don't see a blue line, do not use the test card, and call the technical support number in the instructions. Open the test card so it lies flat on your table. Don't touch the test strip. Remove the dropper bottle cap. Hold the dropper bottle straight over the top hole and slowly put six drops into the hole. Make sure not to touch the card with the bottle tip.
Now you'll collect the nasal sample. Open one swab package at the stick end and remove the swab. Be sure to keep your fingers away from the swab end. Swab both nostrils carefully. Insert the entire soft tip of the swab into one nostril, about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. You do not need to go any deeper. You ready?
So with medium pressure, you're gonna go around five times.
Count with me [swabs girl's nostril]:
two, three, four, five (two, three, four, five).
Okay, the other side. Ready?
One, two, three, four, five [swabs girl's other nostril]. (One, two, three, four, five.)
Good job, babe. Okay. (Thanks, Mom.)
Next, perform the test.
Keep the card flat on the table. Insert the swab into the bottom hole. Firmly push the swab tip from the bottom hole until it's visible in the top hole. Do not remove the swab from the card. Turn the swab to the right clockwise three times to mix the swab with the drops. One, two, three. Do not skip this step. Leave the swab in the card for the remainder of the test. Peel the adhesive tape liner off the right edge of the card. Be careful not to touch the other parts of the card. Close the left side of the card over the swab. Keep the card face up on your table and wait 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, check your result. It is important to read the result within 15 to 30 minutes. Do not read the result after 30 minutes. If it's positive, you'll see two pink or purple lines. Even a faint line next to the sample is a positive result. This means that COVID-19 was detected. A negative result will have only one pink or purple line on the top half of the results window, where it says control. This means that COVID-19 was not detected. You may receive an invalid result. If your result does not appear positive or negative, it is invalid. You should contact technical support (1.833.637.1594).
If the test is negative, you should test again within three days with at least 36 hours between tests. If it's positive, you should self-isolate and seek follow-up care with your healthcare provider to determine the next steps you should take. You can throw away all used test parts in the trash. All results should be reported to your healthcare provider.
(girl speaks faintly)
So let's look and see. It's negative.
Yay! (claps hands)
Good job. High five.
Thanks for watching. (You're welcome.)