Child Health

Children and COVID-19

​​Do children and adults experience different symptoms of COVID-19?

No, the symptoms are similar in both children and adults; however, children's symptoms tend to be milder. Some children may not even show symptoms at all.
Others may show some of the following symptoms: 
  • Fever
  • Continuous cough
Other symptoms may occur in children and adults alike, such as:
  • Fatigue 
  • Headache and muscle pain 
  • Sore throat 
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose 
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite 
  • A purple rash that appears on fingers and toes, but this symptom tends to be uncommon.

Symptoms appear to be more severe in children who suffer from chronic diseases, such as:
  • Heart diseases
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Obesity and type (1) diabetes
  • Weakened immune system
  • Asthma

If your child has any of the symptoms above, you should get him checked for COVID-19. Go to ‘Tatamman’ Clinics for a test. 

If you notice that your child has advanced symptoms of COVID-19, take him to the emergency room or the nearest hospital. Advanced symptoms include:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain or pressure that doesn't go away
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Severe stomachache
  • Inability to wake up or stay awake

How to look after children infected with COVID-19 at home?
There is no specific treatment for the novel Coronavirus. However, most healthy children who contract the disease and have mild symptoms can recover at home. Improvement can usually be seen within a week or two.
1. Carefully watch for symptoms:
  • Make sure you monitor symptoms well and call 937 for medical advice.
  • Give the child with a fever an antipyretic (paracetamol).
  • Make sure he or she gets enough healthy food to boost immunity. 
  • Give your child enough fluids to avoid dehydration. 
  • Make sure he stays rested and watch his activity level. 
  • If any of the advanced symptoms appear, as mentioned above, take your child to the nearest ER or hospital immediately.
2. Keep your hands clean:
  • Wash your child’s and your hands with soap and water for at least 40 seconds, especially after making any kind of contact with the child (such as changing a diaper), and after removing your gloves.
  • Dry your hands with disposable paper towels. You can also use a reusable towel and replace it when it is wet. Make sure this towel is used by only one person and avoid sharing it with others.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Encourage your child to do the same. 
3. Avoid spreading the infection:
  • Make sure your child stays at home and doesn't mix with friends or go to public places. If he comes in contact with others, help him maintain a safe distance (at least 2 meters).
  • Encourage your child to practice good sneeze and cough etiquette. He can do that by using a tissue and disposing of it immediately or using his elbows to sneeze or cough to reduce droplet spreading. 
  • Do not share any personal items with your child, such as: Towels, utensils, and electronics (such as mobile phones).
  • Make the child use a separate bathroom. If that's not possible, clean and disinfect the bathroom immediately after each use.
  • Breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to continue the breastfeeding because of its health benefits for the baby. Mothers, however, must make sure they are taking all the necessary preventive measures in the process.  
  • If the baby is being fed formula, make sure you carefully sterilize it before each use.
  • Prevent the child from handling pets at home to avoid transmitting the infection.
4. Keep your home clean and disinfected:
  • Dispose of used gloves and masks carefully and put them in a separate garbage can to avoid spreading the infection.
  • Wash your child's clothes, towels, and personal tools separately with regular soap and hot water (60-90 °C) and dry them thoroughly. Wear a face mask and gloves while you are washing these items.
  • Disinfect the home and the surfaces of frequently used items, such as doorknobs. To clean them, use a bleach containing 5% sodium hypochlorite to make a solution of 20ml of bleach per liter of water.
  • High-touch electronic devices (such as keyboards and touch screens) can be disinfected with 70% alcohol at least once a day.
5. Protect yourself:
  • Ensure that the caregiver of the infected child at home is not at risk of COVID-19 complications (the groups at a higher risk include: the elderly and people with chronic disease).
  • When coming in contact with the child, wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth, or a surgical mask. Wear gloves and dispose of them safely after a single use.
  • Keep a safe distance of at least 2 meters when you come in contact with the sick child. 
  • If you start having symptoms, isolate yourself and call (937). 

 Maintaining children’s health and safety during the pandemic:
Below are some tips to help you protect your children and others from contracting the virus:
  • Closely watch your child for any COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water for at least 40 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Teach your child the correct way to wash hands and help him through it.
  • Avoid letting your child come in direct contact with sick individuals who show symptoms like coughing or sneezing. 
  • When you leave home with your child, make sure you maintain a safe distance from others (1.5 to 2 meters).
  • Children above 2 years of age must wear face masks in public areas. 
  • Clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces on a daily basis in shared areas of the home.
  • Postpone family visits that include elderly family members. These visits pose a risk on everyone.
  • Wash soft or stuffed toys when needed while following the manufacturer's washing instructions. Ensure they are completely dry before use.
  • Teach children to avoid touching their faces, especially their mouths, noses and eyes. 
  • Teach children good cough and sneeze etiquette using disposable tissues. Encourage them to use their elbows instead of their palms to cough or sneeze. 

Avoid making a child wear face masks in the following cases:
  • If he or she is under the age of 2;
  • If he or she has a difficulty breathing;
  • If he or she has a physical disability that makes removing the mask by themselves difficult.

Keeping your child active:
  • The child should be encouraged to play outside. It is beneficial for his physical and mental health. You can walk with your child or go on a bike ride, while taking the necessary precautions.
  • Keep the child physically active for at least 60 minutes a day.
  • Use separate times of the day to perform indoor physical activities to help the child focus and maintain his health.

Maintaining social contact:
Encourage children to communicate with family and friends through voice or video calls, under parental supervision.

Coping with the stress and tension caused by the current situation:
Watch for any signs of stress or behavioral change.  Children and adolescents do not respond to stress in the same way. Some may adapt easily while others may be severely affected, so talk to them and listen to their concerns. Common changes to watch out for include:
  • Excessive anxiety or sadness
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Unhealthy sleep habits
  • Difficulty paying attention and concentrating
  • Crying or excessive sensitivity in young children
  • Returning to behaviors they outgrew (such as bedwetting)
  • Irritability and inappropriate or impulsive behaviors in teens such as fighting, hitting, stealing, or throwing things
  • Poor school performance or avoiding studying 
  • Avoiding activities that used to be enjoyable in the past
  • Headache or unexplained pain in the body

Offer support to your child:
  • You should talk to your child or teenager. Listen to their concerns about the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, answer questions, and share facts about it in a way that they can understand.
  • Children should be reassured that they are safe. They should also be told that it is okay to feel upset. Parents can also share with their children how they coped with their own stress so that they learn to cope too by following their example.
  • Children and young people should feel reassured that their parents and caregivers can keep them safe.
  • Family exposure to news coverage, including social media, should be minimized. Children may misinterpret what they hear, and they may be afraid of something they do not understand.
  • Try to keep a regular routine. With schools closed, you can set a schedule for your children to learn, relax, or do leisure activities.
  • It helps for parents to lead by example - they should take breaks, get ample sleep, be physically active, and eat well. They should also maintain their own contact with family members and friends. 
  • Spend time with your children doing meaningful activities (such as: Reading, working out and playing).
  • Support safe ways for children and young people to communicate with their friends. They can meet in open air areas (such as private gardens or other private outdoor spaces) in groups of a maximum of 6 people, provided they keep a distance of 2 meters from others. If this is not possible, they can use voice or video calls to maintain their communication with others.

For inquiries, contact us by email.

Last Update : 27 September 2020 04:16 AM
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