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How COVID-19 Presents in Young Children

February 23, 2021 • Our Blog • Uncategorized
Find out what symptoms you should watch out for if you think your child might have been exposed to the coronavirus. By now most people are very familiar with the ways COVID-19 can present in adults, but there’s been some confusion over whether the virus causes the same symptoms in children. A new study that looked at COVID symptoms in kids finds that while some children who test positive for the coronavirus remain asymptomatic throughout their infection, others can have one or several symptoms that echo some of those experienced by adults.  While it’s true that COVID tends to be mild in young children, it’s still important to monitor your child’s health closely. That’s because they can still spread the virus to other family members, who may experience more serious symptoms.  Here’s a closer look at some of the symptoms that, according to the study, can indicate a positive case of COVID-19 in young children. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 in Young Children

Among the thousands of children tested as part of the November 2020 study, a few symptoms stuck out as the best predictors of a positive COVID-19 test result. These are: 
  • Loss of smell and/or taste: This symptom appeared seven times more often in children who tested positive than those who tested negative.
  • Nausea or upset stomach: This symptom was five times more likely in positive cases than negative.
  • Fever: This symptom was 68% more likely to be present in children who tested positive.
  • Headache: This symptom was twice as likely in positive cases than negative ones. 
The study also found that for children who experienced loss of smell or taste combined with an upset stomach and headache, the odds of a positive test were 65 times higher as compared to children without that cluster of symptoms. This means that a combination of these common symptoms is the best indicator of infection.  Of course, as with adults who test positive for COVID-19, some children are entirely asymptomatic. The study found that around one-third of the children tested showed no symptoms whatsoever. Additionally, while there were some symptoms that were common among children who tested positive (cough, runny nose, and sore throat), those same symptoms were just as common — if not more common — among kids who tested negative, meaning they shouldn’t be used as telltale signs of COVID. 

Treating the Symptoms of COVID-19 in Children

Given that most cases of COVID in young children are fairly mild, the best thing you can do for a child presenting COVID-19 symptoms is try to alleviate those discomforts as much as possible. Make sure to keep your child warm, perhaps giving them hot tea or — if they are not dealing with an upset stomach — mild soup. You can also give them child-safe cold medicine. 

Getting Help for a Child with COVID-19 Symptoms

There’s no denying that seeing COVID symptoms in your child — even if they are experiencing a mild case of the virus — can be frightening. Kids’ Health, a leading pediatric clinic serving the Beverly, Massachusetts area, can be a resource for families dealing with COVID-19. Our comprehensive approach to healthcare can help you better understand your child’s condition and help them feel better. If you want to bring your child in, call us or reach out online to schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment today. Please be sure to call the office before bringing in a child who may have COVID....