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Top five things to know about COVID-19 and children

People of all ages can become ill with COVID-19. But most kids who are infected usually don’t become as sick as adults and some might not show any symptoms at all.

Today, we tackle the top five facts about COVID-19 in relation to children.

1. While all children are capable of getting the virus that causes COVID-19, they don’t become sick as often as adults.

This is especially true for children younger than ages 10 to 14. One possibility behind this is children’s immune systems interact with the virus differently. Some say adults get sick easily because their immune systems seem to overreact to the virus, causing more damage to their bodies.

2. Children with underlying conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and asthma, might be at higher risk of COVID-19.

Same with children who have congenital heart disease, genetic conditions or conditions affecting the nervous system or metabolism. Babies under age 1 might be at higher risk of severe illness with COVID-19 than older children. This is likely due to their immature immune systems and smaller airways, which make them more likely to develop breathing issues with respiratory virus infections.

3. While children and adults experience similar symptoms of COVID-19, children’s symptoms tend to be mild and cold-like.

Most children recover within one to two weeks. Possible symptoms can include: Fever or chills, nasal congestion, runny nose, cough and sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache and muscle pains, nausea, diarrhea and loss of taste or smell.

4. The only vaccine that’s available for kids is the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine which is now available to those aged 12 and older.

Research has shown that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective in preventing the COVID-19 virus in children ages 12 through 15.

5. The WHO and UNICEF advise say children aged 5 years and under should not be required to wear masks.

This is based on the safety and overall interest of the child and their ability to use a mask properly with minimal assistance. Kids aged 6-11 should wear a mask
specially if there is widespread transmission in the area where the child resides. Meanwhile, those aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults.

 

(Source: By Mayo Clinic Staff)

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Written by Rejina Chel

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