While many children with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all, some can become severely ill. Like adults, children can also spread the virus to others even if they are asymptomatic.
Emergency physicians recommend everyone ages 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19.
Babies under 1 year old, and children with certain underlying conditions, may be more likely to experience severe illness, Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), hospitalization, or other long-term complications if they contract COVID-19.
How to Protect Your Children
The CDC offers these tips to protect children and decrease their child’s risk by managing the amount of time they spend with others.
- Get your child vaccinated if they are five years of age or older
- Monitor your child for symptoms of COVID-19, such as a high fever, soar throat, cough, stomachache, or headache
- Keep track of your child's close contacts with others
- Take steps to protect your child if you become sick
- Keep your child home and seek care if your child becomes sick
- In a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the emergency department
Experts continue to learn more about the virus and present the clearest possible picture of risks and how we can prevent the spread. Meanwhile, it is critical to protect each other by following local guidelines and taking the steps that we know are effective: get vaccinated, maintain social distancing, and cover your face.
Know When to Go to the ER
Emergency physicians noted a decrease in the number of pediatric patients who came to the emergency departments in the early stages of the pandemic. Some attribute that to the lockdown—there were simply fewer opportunities for accidents or injuries. You can be sure that the emergency department is the safest place for patients of any age to be if there’s a medical emergency.
If you or your child are having an emergency, do not hesitate to seek medical attention. Delaying emergency care can be a life or death decision. Whether COVID-19 related or not, it is critically important to know when to go to the ER.