Kids and Coronavirus: What We Know So Far 

Kids and Coronavirus: What We Know So Far 

Going back to school may likely raise the cases of coronavirus. Look for fatigue, fever, sniffles, a rash, and other severe symptoms.

Most otherwise healthy kids who get the coronavirus have a mild case. They recover and go back to their lives relatively quickly. Some have such a light case, they never know they have it to begin with. But not all kids respond in a mild way  to the virus. Research has shown that people who are obese have a harder time fighting off the virus, and this can include kids. In the US, over 18% of children between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese, with highest rates being found in middle class families. 

The reopening of schools across North America is not a guarantee that cases of the novel coronavirus will spread even more, but some research shows the two are linked. When schools in the US closed between March and May 2020, cases of the virus slowed. Some say this move could have saved as many as 40,000 lives. The opening of a sleepaway camp in Georgia saw at least 260 people (campers and staff) fall sick with COVID-19. The more time people spent at the camp, the more likely they were to fall sick, and more young children aged 6 to 10 fell ill than those aged 11 to 18 year olds. 

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If your kid does fall sick with COVID-19, what can you expect? As stated above, many children are asymptomatic. A loss of a sense of smell is said to be an even better indicator that someone has COVID-19 than a fever or a cough, so be on the lookout for this symptom. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, children can experience a fever and a cough with COVID-19, just as adults do. Kids are less likely to be breathless however. Children can also develop pneumonia with the novel coronavirus, and sometimes this can be hard for parents to detect. Kids with COVID-19 have also been known to suffer from a sore throat, the sniffles, muscle aches, diarrhea, inflamed toes, and fatigue. 

What about very serious cases of COVID-19 in kids? You may have heard of PIMS, MIS-C or Kawasaki disease. These terms generally refer to the same thing in kids when it comes to the virus. This happens to some children who develop inflammation in their body related to COVID-19 that can limit blood flow and damage their organs.

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The symptoms of severe COVID-19 in children can vary. They include stomach or abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, red eyes, cracked red lips, a rash, a high fever, swollen hands and feet, as well as swollen glands on the side of the neck. This response to the novel coronavirus in children is very rare, but it can be deadly. You should seek immediate medical attention if your child has these symptoms. 

Kids may also have trouble keeping their liquids down, have bluish lips, feel confused, and have trouble waking up from sleeping.  These are signs of a severe infection that could turn fatal, and a child with these symptoms needs immediate emergency medical care.  

Thankfully, the vast majority of kids who get the coronavirus recover. Keep your family safe by knowing the signs of extreme illness and getting help when you need it. 

photo credits: diy13/Shutterstock.com

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