What Are The Common Symptoms Of Covid-19 In Children?
A heavily debated topic these days has been the symptoms associated with the attack by the novel coronavirus. Many people who have recovered from Covid-19 have reported some general symptoms similar to the common cold. However, some insist that it is more like viral flu.
These discussions have been persistently going on since the onset of the pandemic. However, in the face of such a dangerous and unpredictable disease, ignorance is the last thing we need; especially when it comes to children.
Why should you monitor children more closely for symptoms of coronavirus?
We would all like to believe that the children in our household are past the naiveté. We want to think of them as conscientious young folks who will honestly seek help or tell you when they have a problem.
However, child psychology strongly indicates that even though children tend to be honest, the adolescent ones tend to evaluate their health conditions in dire light. This is to say that, kids below the age of 12 are likely to come and tell their parents if they are experiencing internal health issues with breathing, body pain, gastrointestinal disorders, etc. But the older kids tend to evaluate these symptoms as slight discomfort and brush them off.
That is why you must monitor your children’s subconscious cues and behaviour closely, especially during this global pandemic. They may not choose to share with you if they are feeling any discomfort or ailments. Nevertheless, keeping an eye out for the common symptoms of the novel coronavirus will help diagnose them at the earliest and seek proper treatment.
After all, children are completely dependent on their parents and social workers for their well-being, at least till they learn to treat themselves with more care and concern.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus or Covid-19 in children?
Since the symptoms of the novel coronavirus are a lot similar to the common cold, it may be difficult to diagnose them from the start. Additionally, children have been observed to remain asymptomatic for the most part.
Therefore, the best thing to do is to seek medical attention if you witness any of the following symptoms in children, persistently ongoing for at least 3 or more days.
Some of the most common symptoms to look out for are:
- Cough and cold
- Sore throat or thrush
- Dry and painful coughing
- Difficulty breathing freely
- Blocked nose
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Body pain
- Discomfort or pain in muscles
- Losing the sense of smell
- Unable to taste food.
- Ulcers developed in gastrointestinal zones, or the oral cavity.
Aside from these mild symptoms which may seem frivolous, you must also watch out for the following acute signs of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, a relatively new complication arising from covid-19. This syndrome tends to affect the lungs, heart, kidney, brain, GI tract, or even the skin. Therefore keep an eye out for the following indications:
- Skin rashes
- Neck and muscle pain along with some stiffness
- Low blood pressure
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Difficulty in breathing comfortably
- Pain in the abdominal regions
- Facial appearance turning blue
- Incapacity to walk.
These symptoms of Covid-19 may be easily noticeable within the first 5 or 6 days of contracting the virus. In some instances, it may even take up to 14 days for the symptoms to be evident. However, keep in mind that most children remain asymptomatic.
Therefore, the only way to detect the onset of covid-19 in children is to always keep a close eye on them. Although the symptoms are somewhat docile, you may be able to notice some minor signs within the first two to three days, especially if they have a cold or fever. Even if their symptoms seem trivial, it is best to seek medical attention and have them thoroughly checked.
Not only are their delicate and fragile systems in jeopardy but they could also easily transmit the virus to the elderly within the household.
What should you do if your children have Covid-19 symptoms?
The sudden onset of covid-19 symptoms in your child can be a little unnerving. But at a time like this, it is important to stay calm and keep in mind that children have strong immune systems that can fight the virus effectively and quickly.
If your child does have covid-19 symptoms, you can take the following measures to aid them:
- Consider speaking to a medical professional, be it a paediatrician or general physician over phone calls or video calls. This is an excellent solution to seek medical advice while circumventing the need to visit a crowded clinic or hospital where there are likely to be more infected people.
- Visit a medical facility if the symptoms seem too aggressive or if the doctor advises doing so. You may also pay a visit to the hospital or clinic if under extreme circumstances you cannot reach the doctor.
- Look for ways to treat the problem at home. The novel coronavirus, although dangerous, is still just a virus. So don’t panic. There are several preliminary measures you can take to subdue the virus and get rid of it with home remedies.
When should you absolutely seek medical attention for your child who is infected by Covid-19?
Even though most cases of covid-19 can be treated at home with minimal involvement from a medical practitioner, you must seek professional treatment if your child displays the following signs:
- If they are dizzy, extremely fatigued, or appear to be very sick.
- If they appear to be constantly drowsy and lethargic.
- If they have chest pains.
- If they are experiencing difficulty in breathing freely.
- If their nostrils flare or puff up every time they try to breathe through their nose.
- If their ribs and lungs hurt or they experience congestion.
- If they appear confused and disoriented.
- If they have a severe cold and dry cough.
- If their skin starts to pale or red rashes and spots start to appear on the surface.
- If they have pain in their abdominal regions.
- If they show signs of gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, or ulcers.
- If they start developing a blue hue on their face and body.
The important thing to remember is, not to panic just because they have these symptoms. It is important to stay calm and speak to your paediatrician or a physician at the earliest and get your children tested.
If there is more than one kid in the house, have them all tested and consider testing yourself and other members of the household too.
How to care for your children if they show symptoms of covid-19 without spreading the virus through your household?
If your child or children display the symptoms of the novel coronavirus then make an appointment with the doctor, preferably to visit your home for the test. You can also video conference with them to be on the safer side.
Aside from following their directives to the letter, consider the following steps when taking care of a child who displays symptoms of coronavirus:
- Assign one member of the household or a specific caregiver to attend to your child or children who have covid-19 symptoms.
- If they are old enough, i.e., above the age of 2 and can breathe freely despite wearing a mask, then insist upon wearing one when they are in contact with the caregiver.
- Do not leave your child or children alone when they are using a mask as it could cause suffocation. Monitor them.
- Insist upon the caregiver wearing a mask as well.
- Do not allow pets and other members of the household to come in contact with the affected children except for the assigned caregiver.
- Ensure that all members of your family remain indoors and monitor them for any symptoms of covid-19 till the symptoms in your children disappear.
- If possible, try to assign a different bathroom for the child to use while they have symptoms of covid-19.
- Sanitize all the toys and items the child used prior to the detection of the symptoms and also while he or she is quarantined.
The symptoms of covid-19 appearing in your little bundles of joy can be very frightening. However, it is imperative that you stay calm and seek treatment for them at the earliest.
Isolation is necessary to keep the virus from spreading through the household. It is not about self-preservation or lack of concern for your children. Quarantining the child or children who have the symptoms helps contain the virus. That way, once the infected children recoup, you do not have to worry about them contracting the virus again from other members of the family who may be infected due to direct contact with them.
Do not fret as the highly optimized immune system in children makes it much easier for them to fight the virus and its symptoms. The important thing is to have them tested and begin their treatment.