COVID-19 in children – how do the youngest get sick? Symptoms, course and treatment

"Discover the latest trends in COVID-19 infections among children. Learn how infection rates have increased, symptoms to look out for, and what to do if your child falls ill. From mild cases to long-term complications, get informed and prepared."
COVID-19 in children
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Do children get infected with COVID-19 more than before the pandemic started? Yes, definitely. While we’ve learned a lot about the virus since its beginning, there is still much that remains unknown.

Children contracting COVID-19:
In March 2020, approximately 1-2% of all COVID-19 cases were in children. However, this percentage has significantly increased and now ranges between 15-25%. Experts believe these numbers might be underestimates as many mild or asymptomatic cases go undiagnosed. For instance, over 100,000 children tested positive for antibodies in one US state despite only around 9,000 confirmed cases through tests. Increased morbidity among kids and rising hospitalizations also indicate higher infection rates. Some fatalities have been reported too.

Wave of illnesses affecting young: In the fourth wave of coronavirus spreads across countries like Poland, UK, Israel, and USA; it predominantly affects younger populations (children and young adults) who haven’t had the disease or vaccinated yet due to their age or other reasons such as hesitancy towards vaccines). This trend could be attributed to various factors including increased transmission due to new variants which are considered more contagious than previous strains; wider availability of testing leading to better identification; heightened awareness regarding symptomatology in both adults and children resulting from extensive media coverage; large gatherings at schools creating opportunities for mass exposure when coupled with relaxed safety measures following lower case numbers during prior waves – making them prime targets for new outbreaks without being fully immunized by natural exposure or vaccination yet (especially important considering long term effects on respiratory health may impact future developmental milestones even after recovery). Unfortunately severity level varies widely amongst affected individuals—from mild symptoms to severe complications requiring hospitalization regardless of age group but infants below five years old tend to develop serious conditions disproportionately compared others according research studies conducted globally [CDC data shows]. Additionally certain chronic medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus put youngsters at greater risk developing complicated courses upon infection further emphasizing necessity early preventive measures along side prompt diagnosis & appropriate care whenever necessary instead delaying treatment which can prove detrimental long term health wise especially if prolonged postponement continues till they reach adolescence stage where mortality rate rises alarmingly high ir
If your child gets infected with COVID-19, you might be wondering how to handle the situation. Here’s some advice on dealing with the infection:

Firstly, determine if your child needs medical attention at a hospital or can recover at home. Most children who test positive for COVID-19 don’t need hospitalization. The decision is based on their overall condition, age, and other health issues. Doctors make this determination after examining the child.

If your child stays home for treatment, focus mainly on keeping them hydrated and offering painkillers/antipyretics if necessary. Both paracetamol and ibuprofen are approved for use in treating coronavirus infection in kids without specific symptoms that these medications could relieve.

Regarding Long COVID in children, most of them get better within a week; however, there have been reports of lingering symptoms lasting three months or longer – known as ‘Long Covid.’ Symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, muscle pain, and cold-like symptoms persist even when fully recovered from acute COVID-19 illness according to data from various countries such as Britain (9.8% aged 2-11 years & 13% aged 12-16), Italy (more than a third), Russia (quarter), Germany (38000 children) etc., similar to adults suffering from long covid syndrome which affects up to half of adult patients). The exact cause of ‘long covid’ remains unknown but it seems that SARS-CoV-2 has strong autoimmune potential leading not only to Pediatric Inflammatory Multiorgan Syndrome but also other short term complications like myocarditis or Guillian Barre Syndrome among kids recovering from Covid – though more research is required regarding future associations between childhood Covid experience and distant autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes psoriasis or celiac lupus.. No post disease checkups are currently recommended unless otherwise advised by doctors due to specific conditions revealed during initial recovery process.. Follow up tests will depend upon physician evaluation based on patient’s presentation during hospital stay including possible abnormalities detected then . Children should return to nursery/kindergarten/school after isolation ends usually following guidelines set forth by authorities depending on whether they presented any symptoms(notably loss of smell& taste) before returning.

Tips for parents to prevent their children from getting infected:

  1. Encourage good hygiene practices: Teach your child how to properly wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Remind them to cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing and to dispose of used tissues immediately.
  2. Practice social distancing: Avoid crowded places and limit close contact with others outside of your household. If possible, have your child participate in online learning instead of attending school in person.
  3. Keep a healthy environment: Regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, and countertops. Make sure to also clean and sanitize toys and other items that your child frequently uses.
  4. Encourage good nutrition and exercise: A healthy diet and regular exercise can help boost your child’s immune system, making them less susceptible to infections.
  5. Follow mask-wearing guidelines: If your child is old enough to wear a mask, make sure they are properly wearing it when in public places.
  6. Get vaccinated: Once the COVID-19 vaccine is available for children, make sure to get your child vaccinated to protect them from the virus.

By following these tips, parents can help keep their children safe and healthy during the pandemic. It’s also important for parents to stay updated on any new developments and guidelines in their local area regarding COVID-19 prevention and management. Communication with healthcare providers is key in ensuring the best care for children during this time. Remember to prioritize your child’s health and well-being, and seek medical attention if they show any concerning symptoms. Let’s all work together to keep our children safe during these challenging times.

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