COVID-19 affects both children and adults, although only a few reported coronavirus cases are children. Most children who get infected show mild symptoms of the condition. However, it is still essential to know the signs of COVID-19 in children and when the child should get a COVID test in London.
This write-up contains information on the signs of COVID-19 in kids, the possible complications, and steps to reduce exposure to the virus.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 in kids
It is still unclear why children, show mild symptoms of COVID-19 and less likely to get infected, but the signs of the virus in children is known. Although adults and children experience similar coronavirus symptoms, children tend to show only a few symptoms and in some cases, none at all.
Children 10 years and above may have cold-like symptoms like the following.
- Shortness of breath
Babies and children below ten years usually experience fewer symptoms such as
- Abdominal pain
- Runny nose
Babies who are below one year may experience subtle symptoms which healthcare providers usually confuse to be symptoms of other illnesses.
COVID-19 risks and its complication in children
Generally, children are less likely to have severe complications from COVID-19. However, children who are obese, have underlying health issues like lung or heart disease, immune disorders and those undergoing cancer treatment may have an increased risk of developing other illnesses because of their immune system is weak.
Prevention and early detection of COVID-19 in children
It is usually difficult to detect signs of COVID-19 in children because the symptoms are subtle. The prevalence of other viral infections also makes it difficult to know the disease a child has contracted.
You may not be able to know what your child is sick of, but you can take some preventive steps like the following to protect your children and yourself.
Washing the hands frequently
Frequent washing of hands for a minimum of 20 seconds each time, will prevent different illnesses.
Wearing of masks
Children above two years should wear cloth face masks in public and among persons outside the house, but people with breathing problems or children below two years are not advised to wear a face mask.
Limit exposure to sick members of the family
Most children who can come down with the coronavirus got it from a family member. If anyone in the family has the coronavirus, they should remain in a different part of the house as this can minimise the exposure of other members of the family.
Ensure you clean the surface people touch often and try not to share personal items even if no one in your house shows symptoms of COVID-19.
Practising safe socialisation
For children, socialisation is quite important in their growth. With COVID-19 socialising for children may not be easy, but you can ensure your children practice safe socialisation. This ensures that the children still get the opportunity to interact with other people but have limited exposure to the coronavirus.
You can take the first step by having transparent and honest conversations with your neighbours and family members about practising safe socialisation.
How to plan safe playdates
Staying at home and practising social distancing are ways to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Most governments have put some measures in place to ensure people adhere to these safety measures, but if the orders have been lifted, you can have playdates and socialise safely.
If you want your children to have playdates, you can ask the parents of the children involved if anyone in their family has had symptoms of COVID-19 and when last they travelled. You should also ask the parent if they are taking the precautions to reduce their exposure to the virus, such as practising social distancing and wearing masks.
You may also try to consider planning the playdate outside. The playdate should allow your child to enjoy the company of other kids while being at least six feet away from them. This may not seem easy to pull off, but there are different activities that children can engage in without sharing play toys or touching themselves like bike rides and hopscotch.
When can my kids go back to daycare or school?
Most daycares are now open, and they are following the required safety regulations to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus among children. Most schools already have laid-down guidelines like practising social distancing and ensuring frequent handwashing.
It is normal for parents to feel concerned about letting their children resume school, but, because children have a lower risk of developing COVID-19 complications, the benefits of returning to school is believed to outweigh the risks.
If you still feel concerned about sending your child to daycare or school, you should consider asking the school the following questions.
- What are the cleaning measures in place?
- How will you notify parents when a classmate tests positive for the coronavirus?
- How does the school encourage children to wash their hands often?
- Will the children and staff need to wear face masks?
- Are there day breaks?
- How will you manage frequently-touched surfaces and equipment?
When is the right time to visit a doctor?
Children rarely have severe symptoms of COVID-19, but if your child has chest pain, increasing fever, or breathing problems, you should contact a doctor. Most children with COVID-19 can recover from the infection at home with one week or two.
If your child’s symptoms worsen, was recently exposed to an infected person or tested positive for the coronavirus, contact your paediatrician to arrange for a virtual consultation as this helps reduce the risk of exposure within the office. Your paediatrician will likely direct you to a close COVID-19 testing centre. If your child is infected, keep the child at home, but away from other members of the family even if symptoms are not present.
Although children are less likely to get infected and have severe symptoms, it is important to encourage your child always to wash their hands and practise social distancing.
If you are concerned about your child’s health and you need COVID 19 testing near me, visit Blood London or contact us on 020 71830244 to book an appointment.