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CHKD and children’s hospitals across the country make plea to public as more children are hospitalized with COVID-19.

Protect Our Children from COVID-19: Vaccinate and Mask Up

Author: CHKD Web Team
Published Date: Tuesday, August 31, 2021

CHKD and children’s hospitals across the country make plea to public as more children are hospitalized with COVID-19

Get vaccinated. Wear masks, particularly during school and in large gatherings. Practice good hand hygiene and social distancing. Stay home when you’re sick.

Those are words of advice from healthcare professionals and administrators at CHKD who joined with children’s hospitals across the nation on August 30 to make a public plea as three trends increase hospitalizations of children here and across the nation:

  • The delta variant of COVID-19 is more infectious, and has led to more hospitalizations of children, many of whom are not yet eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.
  • Children’s hospitals are also experiencing more hospitalizations from children sick from respiratory illnesses like respiratory syncytial virus, a virus that usually occurs in winter but began sickening more children in spring and summer this year when mask restrictions were relaxed, and people began socializing more.
  • Children’s hospitals across the country also have experienced an increase in children coming to the hospital with mental health needs during the pandemic.

As the numbers of COVID-19 cases increase, and children return to school, it’s important that families do everything they can to prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. Everyone eligible – those 12 and older -- should be vaccinated.

Wear masks inside, especially children and staff returning to school, and people who gather in groups. Practice good hand hygiene, and social distancing when possible. Anyone who is sick should stay home, even if they think it is a common cold.

Many of the signs of various respiratory illnesses are similar.

Delta variant’s most common symptoms:

  • Headache.
  • Sore throat.
  • Runny nose.

Other signs of COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills.
  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Fatigue.
  • Muscle or body aches.
  • New loss of taste or smell.
  • Congestion or runny nose.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.

Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing.
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest.
  • New confusion.
  • Inability to wake or stay awake.
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone.

Call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children associated with COVID-19:

In rare cases, kids are experiencing what’s called “multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children associated with COVID-19” in which there is inflammation throughout the body several weeks after the infection.

Experts say the inflammatory syndrome appears to be a delayed reaction driven by a child’s immune system response to the infection, in contrast to the usual way that the virus affects patients by attacking the cells in their lungs.

Symptoms that have been seen in these kids:

  • A persistent fever that lasts several days.
  • Belly pain.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea.
  • A rash.
  • Red, cracked lips.
  • Red eyes.
  • Swelling of the hands or feet.
  • Joint pain.
  • Dizziness.
  • Vision problems.
  • A headache.
  • Looking pale.

Respiratory syncytial virus:

Our doctors are also seeing more cases of respiratory syncytial virus, often called RSV. Parents should monitor young children who develop cold symptoms, especially if the child was born prematurely or has lung or heart problems.

Here are some signs to watch for:

  • Frequent cough.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Decrease in appetite.
  • Audible wheezing.
  • Sucking in around the ribs with breathing.
  • Flaring of the nostrils.
  • Trouble talking, or a weak cry.
  • Pallor or a blue tinge to the skin.
  • Unusual sleepiness or weakness.

Most children with COVID-19 and RSV get better with rest, fluids, and fever-reducing medicine. Children with more severe symptoms may need to be hospitalized. The goal is to reduce respiratory problems and inflammation to avoid long-term damage to arteries in the child’s body and heart.

About CHKD Web Team

About CHKD Web Team  The web team at CHKD includes members of the marketing and public relations team who create digital-based content to support and enhance the organization's online profile and communications through content creation and development of its public website, intranet, and social media.