Dr Ashley Jeevarathnum, Dad, Paediatric pulmonologist (lung specialist) Allergist. ❤️Helping you raise healthy, thriving kids. Visit his website or follow on Instagram

It is well known that children seem to handle COVID-19 infections much better than adults. A large portion of children remain completely asymptomatic despite a positive diagnosis. Up to 55 percent of children will only display mild symptoms. Nevertheless, it is important that we are aware of the signs and symptoms of the Coronavirus in children.

Covid in children women with child

Credit: https://www.unicef-irc.org/covid19/

General symptoms that may or may not indicate Covid in children

It can be confusing  as many respiratory infections cause similar symptoms. Here is a list of completely non-specific symptoms which could indicate COVID-19 or another viral illness in children:

  • fever
  • cough
  • blocked nose
  • poor feeding
  • sore throat
  • headache,
  • muscle aches
  • tiredness
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • loss of taste or smell

If any of these symptoms do develop, please do not panic. 

Danger signs of Covid in children

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, seek early medical care if any of the following symptoms develop:

  • Persistent fever higher than 38.5 degrees which lasts longer than 48 hours, and definitely longer than 3-5 days.
  • Severe vomiting and/or diarrhea with poor feeding, or unable to eat without vomiting. 
  • Fast and labored breathing
  • Appears confused and is lethargic

Children with severe symptoms may require admission for oxygen, intravenous fluids and supportive care. Please see your medical practitioner if you suspect your child is seriously ill.

Managing mild symptoms of Covid in children at home

If none of these danger signs develop then it is very likely that your child has a mild illness and can safely be managed at home.

Management of Covid in children at home would include the following:

• Vitamins – ongoing research is under way but supplementation with vitamin D and Zinc shows promising results
• Adequate fluid intake
• Sufficient rest
• Healthy diet
• Nasal sprays to alleviate cough
• Throat lozenges or lollies for sore throat
• Fever meds- very important to control fevers

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