Coronavirus in Children – To worry or not to worry?

This article will be the first one of the series of blog posts helping parents to survive COVID-19 pandemic.

I will attempt to answer the most important question parents may have i.e., “Is coronavirus dangerous to my child? “

I feel that having a degree in biology gives me a bit of an advantage and allows me to understand slightly more from the chaos in media. The most important thing we need to understand is, specialists all over the world do not have full knowledge about COVID-19 and until some time passes by, we can only observe the results of this pandemic. Therefore, this post will not be about scientific aspects of CONVID-19 but all the other aspects parents should be considering.

The available results and statistics regard children and CONVID-19 are fairly optimistic.

Recent reports (https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2020/03/16/peds.2020-0702)  from China shows that from 2143 cases of CONVID-19 in children  ( which by the way goes against what majority of people think, that kids can`t get infected) – 90% of them are mild but 6 % of them were severe. Yes, the mortality rate is close to zero, but this means reliance on access to the healthcare system which is not overloaded. Keep in mind that this will most likely mean total isolation of your child.

Children quite often end up being infected but being carriers of CONVID-19 rather than showing symptoms, so closing schools make sense even if you disagree with this.

Things to think about:

If you fell ill and are not well, who is going to take care of your children? It`s not advised for elderly ie grandparents to have any contact as they are in the high-risk group.

About 20% of all COVID-19 cases require hospitalisation, and around 2.5% will require intensive care.  Depending on the number of cases in your countries and your healthcare system this means overcrowded hospitals or rather more hospitals will be converted into CONVID-19 only facilities. This also means fewer medical specialists available to other patients. The majority of the countries only allow lifesaving treatments at present, all other consultations with specialists are cancelled. Also, keep in mind that there will be many specialists who will get infected and will not be available to help any patients.

We also can`t underestimate the emotional impact that the coronavirus pandemic may have on children, and I don`t mean temporarily lockup in the house but the possibility of losing their grandparents and parents who are more vulnerable and can suffer complications after CONVID-19 infection.   Also, what if you end up in the hospital and your children will have to be isolated, how this will impact them?

My answer would be:  You should be worried depending on the country and overall prevention and number of cases. Countries which prevented the outbreaks by self-distancing and advising their citizens to stay at home are probably the safest for the families with kids. If you can just stay at home, please do.  And yes, of course, it can be dangerous, especially in countries that are already unable to deal with rapid outbreaks of CONVID-19 like Italy or Spain.

The next posts will tips on the prevention of coronavirus when you have young kids.  If you would like to be notified when this article is published, please like and follow our Facebook page.

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