Children with Coronavirus
How does COVID-19 affect children? Most children with coronavirus experience mild symptoms such as a fever, runny nose, and cough. Some children do not experience any symptoms while others experience vomiting, diarrhea, and a sore throat. Some adults experience shortness of breath as well but most children do not. Children with underlying medical conditions, such as lung disease, asthma, heart conditions, or a weak immune system, may become seriously ill with COVID-19. It can also lead to the development of pneumonia in some cases. Children under the age of 1 may also be at a higher risk of developing more severe cases of coronavirus. How does coronavirus affect infants?
When to Seek Medical Care
Caregivers should seek immediate medical care if their child is showing signs of:
- Difficulty breathing
- Bluish lips
- Confusion or inability to wake up
- Unable to keep down any liquids
Preventing COVID-19 in Children
The coronavirus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets passed between people. Therefore, the CDC recommends that all children 2 years and older should wear a mask while in public unless they have an underlying medical condition and have been told otherwise by a health professional.
Other ways to prevent the spread include:
- Follow social distancing guidelines, staying at least six feet away from people in public. It is also important for parents to keep their kids away from crowds of people where the virus can easily be spread. Family members or others who are sick with a cough or fever should stay away from children.
- Frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds. Demonstrate how to properly wash your hands and encourage them to sing the ABCs to ensure that they are washing for 20 seconds. Remind children to wash their hands after using the bathroom, coughing, sneezing, blowing their nose, and before eating and after coming inside. Check out this How to Wash Hands infographic for kids.
- Teach children to cough or sneeze into a tissue or into their elbow instead of their hand. This will more effectively prevent the spread of germs.
- Discourage children from touching their face. Sometimes a toy that is washed frequently can keep a child occupied.
- Regularly wipe down toys and surfaces that children are using. Cleaners made with at least 70% alcohol are recommended.
Despite the prevalence of COVID-19, children should still attend their wellness doctor visits. Sometimes doctors will schedule a video call so you do not have to go into the office but other times a physical exam may be necessary. Vaccines are important to protect your children from many potentially life-threatening diseases. Therefore, it is important to continue to stay on track with the recommended vaccines for your children. Your healthcare provider can give more specific guidance about what vaccines your child needs. If you have concerns about taking your child in for a visit, you can call your healthcare provider and ask what precautions they are taking to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Protecting Your Child
It is important to take all necessary precautions in an effort to prevent your child from being infected with the coronavirus. Much is still unknown about how the virus affects children but they usually experience mild symptoms. Some children experience more severe symptoms, especially if they have asthma, diabetes, or another health condition and a weak immune system.
5 Tips Kids Need to Know about Covid-19
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