Coronavirus And Children: What Every Parent Needs To Know
The internet is full of different opinions about the coronavirus impact on children. A parent trying to navigate through this cloud of mixed messages will find it hard to separate fact from fiction.
In this article, we use facts and statistics from reliable sources to help you learn about coronavirus and how it can affect your kid’s health.
Coronavirus can Affect Children
Children can get sick from coronavirus and some children have died from the illness but the consensus is that kids (including teens) have the lowest risk of dying from COVID-19 according to a report by ABC.
ANU Professor of infectious disease, Peter Collignon, confirmed that children can get sick from the virus but the probability of them becoming seriously ill from it is low.
Early data from the source of the coronavirus – Wuhan – showed that children under 10 were the smallest group affected in China. Research from Shanghai Medical Centre showed that the younger the child, the higher the chance of a serious reaction. The research found that 11% of infected infants became ill from coronavirus compared to 7% of one-to-five-year-olds, 4% of six-to-year olds and 3% of 16-to-18-year-olds.
According to Pediatrics Paper, newborn babies are fairly low risk but infants aged under 1 year old have a slightly higher risk of a severe reaction to the virus if they are infected. To date, two one-year-old infants have tested positive for coronavirus – one in NSW and one in Queensland – according to a 7News report on 27 March. On 5 April, the ABC confirmed an infant (under the age of 2) has been tested positive in Darwin but was exhibiting only mild symptoms.
The current theory is that children can contact COVID-19 but they are less likely to suffer from serious reactions. This is good news for worried parents but it is important to note that scientists are still studying the effects of the virus worldwide and things could change.
Are Kids’ Super Spreaders of Coronavirus?
If you are infected by coronavirus but are asymptomatic or have only very mild symptoms (cold or flu-like symptoms) – you could be a silent carrier of the disease.
Studies have shown that coronavirus can spread evenly across all demographic groups so it’s logical to assume that asymptomatic children could also be spreaders. Small children tend to be messier than adults. They drool a lot. Their noses run all the time. Given the fact that they are tactile and like touching things and the virus is spread by respiratory droplets (when a person sneezes or coughs), it follows that children can spread the virus to others.
For the most informed report on Australia coronavirus cases, please visit the Department of Health’s website here
Coronavirus risk to children is low. But children can help spread the disease so parents must teach their children how to wash their hands properly and how to cover their noses and mouths when they cough and sneeze, to help keep the community safe.
Keep the kids busy during quarantine with online art, music, yoga and fitness classes at Top Kidz. If you live in NSW you can claim $100 off the tuition fees using the NSW Active Kids and Creative Kids vouchers. Go to NSW Active Kids and NSW Creative Kids websites to download your free vouchers today!
Learning on the computer is now the norm. But long periods of using a computer can increase your child’s chance of developing an injury. Inappropriate computer use or bad posture can cause muscle and joint pain, and overuse injuries to the back, neck, shoulder, arm, and wrist.
You can reduce these risks by providing better furniture and teaching them about good posture and habits. Yoga is an excellent way to perform simple stretches to loosen tighten muscles and reduce tension. TopKidz Academy has some great resources of simple and harmless yoga poses your child can learn for free online.
THIS IS THE WAY WE WASH OUR HANDS, WASH OUR HANDS, WASH OUR HANDS…
Wet hands with warm water.
Apply soap to wet hands.
Lather well including the thumb, the nooks between fingers, back of the hands and under the nails.
Scrub for 20 seconds. Sing your favourite nursery rhyme twice while you wash.
Rinse with running water.
Dry with a paper hand towel.
Turn off the tap using the towel.
The Wriggles wrote a special handwashing song for toddlers during UNICEF’s World Handwashing Day. Here’s a link to the song.
Burke, K. (March 28, 2020). ‘Coronavirus and kids: Separating fact from fiction.’ Retrieved from https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/coronavirus-and-kids-separating-fact-from-fiction-c-763454
Department of Health (April 12, 2020). ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) current situation and case numbers.’ Retrieved from https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-current-situation-and-case-numbers
Roberts, L. (April 5, 2020) ‘Darwin toddler tests positive to coronavirus, the youngest patient in the NT’ Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-05/northern-territory-coronavirus-toddler-tests-positive/12123284
Taylor T. (March 24, 2020).’ How does coronavirus affect kids, babies and pregnancy?’ Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-03-24/coronavirus-covid-babies-pregnancy-children-kids/12080892
Unicef (March 13, 2020). ‘Everything you need to know about washing your hands to protect against coronavirus (COVID-19)’. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/everything-you-need-know-about-washing-your-hands-protect-against-coronavirus-covid-19
Yuanyuan Dong, Xi Mo, Yabin Hu, Xin Qi, Fang Jiang, Zhongyi Jiang, Shilu Tong (7 February 2020). ‘Epidemiological characteristics of 2143 pediatric patients with 2019 coronavirus disease in China’ DOI 10.1542/peds.2020-0702