As we attempt to predict what is going to happen here in the United States with the coronavirus disease, it is natural to look into the experience in China, in which the epidemic started. In research published in Pediatrics, we learn about how COVID-19 impacted children.
What the research tells us
The research looked at data concerning 2,143 children who had coronavirus infections which were reported from January 16th to February 8th of 2020 to China’s Centers for Disease Control. Of those infections, approximately 1/3 were confirmed with a COVID-19 lab test . The other ones were diagnosed based upon symptoms and results of additional tests, like x-rays.
Here’s the best news about this research: 90 percent of the kids had sickness which was moderate, mild, or asymptomatic — opposed with critical or severe. This means that even if the kids were ill, with cough and fever, 90 percent didn’t experience problems breathing, require oxygen or have to be in the ICU. Whereas 4.4 percent were reported as asymptomatic, given that just 1/3 had lab testing, it is likely that the actual quantity of asymptomatic infections in kids during this time span was greater. Only one child passed away.
Within adults, it seems that more like 80 percent experience mild to moderate infections. Overall, we do not know why kids tend to have milder disease. It is likely a blend of factors associated with immune function, body chemistry, and social factors like how kids spend their days and are cared for. However, for whatever reason, it is positive news.
How can these details help?
How can we utilize these details? Apart from all of the suggestions already provided to parents concerning social distancing, hand washing, and keeping healthy habits, parents of young ones ought to take extra care.
Be careful about who comes into contact with your children
l Carefully choose caregivers. Restrict the quantity overall, and pick the ones with limited contact with others and who may be trusted to practice social distancing, frequently wash their hands, and remain away if they feel sick.
l Restrict the quantity of folks who’ve contacted or held young kids.
l Keep younger children at home, to the extent that it’s possible. If you take children out, keep them in strollers or otherwise restrict what they come into contact with.
l Keep their hands washed even more frequently. They simply cannot stop themselves from touching their face and touching things.
Be watchful if young children become ill
Contact your healthcare provider for advice instead of bringing your son or daughter in for moderate or mild sickness. But, you definitely should get medical care if your child experiences:
l any problems breathing — forceful or rapid breathing, a blue or pale skin color, problems talking or feeding, or performing usual activities due to breathing difficulties
l high fever you cannot get down
l abnormal sleepiness
l irritability or pain you cannot soothe
l Problems drinking or refusing to drink, and is creating less urine.