COVID-19 FAQs: How does coronavirus affect kids?

Here are some tips for taking precautions with kids, too

A photo of Santiago Lopez, who's talking about children with COVID-19

Sanford Health‘s Santiago Lopez, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease expert, shares some information about children’s risks, symptoms and precautions for COVID-19.

Is it likely kids will get COVID-19?

Children are not at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults, based on current evidence.

People younger than 18 can get infected, but adults make up most of the known cases.

Are the symptoms for COVID-19 the same in children and adults?

Symptoms are the same for adults and children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most children with COVID-19 have symptoms of fever, cough, runny nose, congestion and difficulty breathing.

Can kids be carriers of COVID-19 and not have symptoms?

Dr. Lopez says there are some reports of kids being carriers of COVID-19 without having symptoms, called asymptomatic carriers. But there’s not enough data to know whether asymptomatic carriers can infect another person.

Is it safe to send kids outside to play?

During this time of social distancing to slow the spread of the virus, it is still safe to go outside and play with kids in an open, uncrowded space. Avoid playgrounds and play sets, where the handles, bars and rings could be contaminated. Make sure children wash their hands as often as possible. Consider bringing sanitizing wipes for play surfaces as well as hand sanitizer.

Is the test for COVID-19 the same for children and adults?

If children have symptoms, they should follow all the same precautions and CDC guidelines for preparation as adults. The swab test for COVID-19 is also the same for children.

If parents get COVID-19, should they separate themselves from their children?

If a parent or other person in the household is diagnosed with COVID-19, follow the CDC guidelines for what to do if you are sick. Children should avoid close contact with the infected person. They should also use a separate bedroom and different bathroom, if possible.

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Posted In Children's, Coronavirus, Frequently Asked Questions

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