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How does Coronavirus affect Kids?

COVID-19 in children is a very important topic that is mostly discussed nowadays. People usually think that children are not affected by COVID-19 and hence, they remain asymptomatic. The first case of COVID-19 in children was detected in April, 2020 in UK. They get the infection which is called Post COVID Inflammatory Syndrome (PIMS).

What is PIMS?

PIMS or Pediatric Inflammatory Multi-system Syndrome is a new lethal childhood disease that is temporarily associated with COVID-19. It is a pediatric disease related to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS COV-2).

With immediate medical attention and response, your child will survive but the long-term results related to these conditions are unknown. This syndrome has spread throughout the world very rapidly.

The latest reports suggested that the children infected with COVID-19 disease were highly resilient and had mild symptoms.

Effects of COVID-19 amongst children

Although fewer children were affected with COVID-19 as compared to the adults, still then can get affected and fall sick. If your child regardless of his age is underlying the following medical conditions tend to have higher risks of severe illness.

The medical conditions are:

  •  Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Genetic, neurologic, and metabolic conditions
  • Heart disease since birth
  • Immunosuppression or weakened immune system
  • Obesity, etc.

If your child is undergoing any of these medical conditions then make sure you consult a doctor or pediatrician to know the chances of your child falling sick.

Symptoms of COVID-19 in children

Symptoms of COVID-19 are quite similar in adults and children. The symptoms are cough, colds, allergies, and strep throat. Other symptoms of COVID-19 amongst children are:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Persistent high grade fever
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rashes and bloodshot eyes
  • Excessive sleepiness & children experiencing fits
  • Red cracked lips
  • The color of the tongues becomes redder than usual
  • Swollen feet and hands
  • Acute appendicitis or excessive abdominal pain
  • Poor appetite or immunity

If your child is facing all these symptoms mentioned above then you need to monitor your child by paying attention to fever (temperature 100.4 °F or higher), uncontrolled cough resulting in difficulty in breathing, etc. You need to keep your child at home considering if your child needs to see a healthcare provider and can be tested for COVID-19.

Treatment of PIMS

Do not delay in seeking emergency care for your child if you don’t want the virus to spread. These emergency departments have their prevention plans which will protect your child from falling sick with COVID-19.

To test for COVID-19, a health care provider uses a long swab to take a sample from the back of the nose. After that, the sample is sent for testing in the lab. If your child is coughing phlegm, that is sent for testing.

Although, many other conditions can cause symptoms similar to PIMS.

At first, your doctor will enquire about whether your child was around someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. And if your child carries any of the above symptoms, a COVID-19 diagnostic test, and other medical tests that will check the inflammation and how organs of your child are functioning are to be done.

If your child is suffering from fever for more than a couple of days. If the symptoms get any worse, then take your child to the emergency room by immediately consulting the doctor. The doctor will use various treatments for inflammation and treatments that will support the organ systems that are facing trouble.

However, there are fewer deaths, most children who have developed PIMS have recovered eventually.The amount of virus found in the children was not correlated with the severity of their symptoms. If high amounts of viral loads are found in your child’s body, then even without the symptoms they can easily spread the infection to others.

Early vaccinations for babies especially babies 6 months and younger have important benefits. It helps to protect them from infections such as pneumococcus and pertussis. These infections can be deadly, at a time when their immune system is vulnerable.

Now that hospitals, doctors, and clinics have taken specific measures to prevent COVID-19 spread, vaccinations for children should not be delayed. Especially for children with special conditions.

Although, the decision will depend on the factors and conditions mentioned above. How prevalent the virus is in your community, whether your child has had any exposures or any possible contact, what safeguards your doctor has put into place, and how you would reach the doctor.

About Author

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Dr. Ajit Kulkarni

Pulmonologist
Contact: 8806252525
Email – ask@sahyadrihospitals.com

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