What one examine from China tells us about COVID-19 and kids

A close up of a young boy playing on the floor with his father.

As we attempt to predict what is going to occur right here within the US with COVID-19, it’s pure to have a look at the expertise in China, the place the epidemic started. In a examine revealed within the journal Pediatrics, we study how the pandemic affected kids.

What this examine tells us

The examine checked out details about 2,143 kids with COVID-19 infections that had been reported to China’s Facilities for Illness Management from January 16 to February eight of this 12 months. Of the infections, a couple of third had been confirmed with a laboratory take a look at for COVID-19. The others had been recognized primarily based on signs and the outcomes of different exams, resembling x-rays.

The perfect information on this examine is that 90% of the youngsters had sickness that was asymptomatic, gentle, or average — versus extreme or vital. Whereas 4.4% had been reported as asymptomatic, on condition that solely a 3rd had laboratory testing, it’s very possible that the precise variety of asymptomatic infections in kids throughout that point interval was increased. Just one little one died.

In adults, it seems that extra like 80% have gentle to average infections. We don’t know why kids seem to have milder illness total. It’s possible a mix of things associated to physique chemistry, immune perform, and even social elements resembling how kids are cared for and spend their days. However regardless of the cause, it’s excellent news.

What else is vital to know

Nevertheless, there is part of the examine we have to take note of: youthful kids are at increased threat of operating into bother. Amongst kids lower than a 12 months outdated, 10.6% had extreme or vital illness. For youngsters ages 1 to five, that quantity was nonetheless excessive at 7.3%. It dropped to 4.2% for 6-to-10-year-olds, 4.1% for 11-to-15-year-olds, and three% for these 16 and older. Apparently, the one little one who died was 14 years outdated.

It’s not likely shocking that the youngest kids, particularly infants, are extra weak. In most epidemics, resembling influenza, it’s the very younger and the very outdated which have the best threat.

How can this info assist us?

How can we use this info? Apart from all the recommendation already given to oldsters about hand washing, social distancing, and sustaining wholesome habits, dad and mom of younger kids ought to take further care.

Be particularly cautious about who has contact along with your younger kids

  • Select caregivers fastidiously. Restrict the quantity total, and select those that have restricted contact with different folks and who could be trusted to follow social distancing, wash their palms regularly, and keep away in the event that they really feel in any respect sick.
  • Restrict the quantity of people that have contact with or maintain younger kids.
  • To the extent that it’s doable, preserve younger kids at house. For those who take them out, preserve them inside strollers or in any other case restrict what they contact.
  • Wash their palms much more usually. They only can’t cease themselves from touching issues and touching their face.

Be notably watchful ought to younger kids get sick

Name your physician for recommendation fairly than bringing your little one in for gentle or average sickness (there’s nothing your physician can do on the workplace, and you might be simply including the chance of extra exposures). Nevertheless, it’s best to completely search medical care in case your little one has

  • any bother respiratory — speedy or forceful respiratory, a pale or blue shade to pores and skin, bother feeding or speaking, or doing normal actions due to respiratory issues
  • a excessive fever you may’t get down (whereas it’s not sure, there have been some issues raised about utilizing ibuprofen with COVID-19 — out of an abundance of warning, greatest to make use of acetaminophen as a substitute)
  • uncommon sleepiness
  • ache or irritability you may’t soothe
  • bother consuming or refusal to drink, and is making much less urine.

Observe me on Twitter @drClaireMD

For extra info on coronavirus and COVID-19, see the Harvard Well being Publishing Coronavirus Useful resource Heart.

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