Can kids get Long COVID?

Long COVID kid wearing a mask in front of a doctor
Written by: Jennifer

It’s a question on many parents’ minds these days: can kids get long COVID? While there is still much to learn about this virus, there is some information that can help answer this question. In this blog post, we’ll look at what we know about COVID and how it affects children. We’ll also explore ways to manage long COVID symptoms and how to test for them. Let’s get started!

What is Long COVID?

What is long haul COVID? Long COVID is a term used to describe the persistence of symptoms after a person has recovered from an initial COVID-19 infection. While most people who contract the virus will recover within a few weeks, some people may experience symptoms for greater than 4 weeks, months, or even longer after they tested positive. People who have experienced long haul COVID are often referred to as a “COVID long hauler”.

Symptoms of Long COVID can vary widely, but they may include chronic fatigue, brain fog, shortness of breath, chest pain, and more. Many people with Long COVID report feeling like they have not been able to fully recover from their initial infection.

There is still much unknown about Long COVID, including why some people seem to be more susceptible to it than others and the exact number of children who experience Long COVID. However, research in public health is ongoing and hopefully, more will be known in the coming months and years.

Can Kids Get Long COVID?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, more and more people are wondering if children can get long COVID. While most kids seem to recover quickly from the virus, there have been reports of some children and young people developing long-term symptoms. In most cases, these symptoms are mild and resolve on their own within a few weeks or months. However, in rare cases, affected children may experience more severe symptoms that require medical treatment, long-term rest, or customized treatment plans.

What Are the Main Symptoms of Long COVID?

Long COVID, also known as post-acute coronavirus syndrome (PACS), is a set of symptoms that can persist for weeks or even months after a person has contracted the virus.

The most common symptoms of long COVID include fatigue, brain fog, shortness of breath, chest pain, anxiety, and depression. Some people also report palpitations in heart rate, joint pain, and skin rashes.

While the exact cause of long COVID is not yet known, it is thought that it may be due to ongoing inflammation or damage to the lungs, heart, or brain. There is also some evidence that suggests long COVID may be caused by an immune system response that goes into overdrive and starts attacking healthy tissue.

Are Adult Long COVID Symptoms the Same for Kids?

A growing amount of attention is being paid to the phenomenon of “Long COVID,” or lingering symptoms experienced by some people after they recover from the virus.  And while most of the focus has been on adults, there is growing evidence that children can also suffer from Long COVID.

There are a few key differences between Long COVID in adults and children. For one, kids seem to experience more digestive issues like abdominal pain and diarrhea. They also may have more neurological symptoms, such as headaches and fatigue. Additionally, some children and young adults with Long COVID report psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression.

Can You Get a Test for Long COVID?

There is currently no specific test for Long COVID, however, your GP may be able to diagnose it based on your symptoms and a physical examination. They may also order some blood tests to rule out other conditions. You may also consider taking a self-assessment to evaluate your symptoms. 

If you have had COVID-19 and are still experiencing symptoms after 4 weeks, it is important to see your GP so that they can assess and investigate you further. While there is no cure for Long COVID at this time, there are some things that can help manage your symptoms and make you feel better.

How Can You Manage Long COVID Symptoms?

There is no one best way to manage long haul COVID, as the long-term effects of COVID-19 will vary from person to person. However, some general tips may help. These tips may or may not include:

  • Get plenty of rest and sleep. This will help your body to heal and recover from the virus.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating nutritious foods will help to boost your immune system and give you the energy you need to cope with Long COVID symptoms.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise has many benefits, including reducing stress levels and improving sleep quality. It may also help to reduce fatigue and improve overall fitness levels.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking. These substances can exacerbate Long COVID symptoms and make them worse.
  • Take supplements. Certain supplements, such as vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, may help to manage Long COVID symptoms.
  • Practice stress-relieving techniques. Stress can make Long COVID symptoms worse, so it is important to find ways to relax and de-stress. Some helpful techniques include yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.

Apart from general tips, there is EECP therapy, also known as Flow Therapy. EECP therapy is a treatment that uses external counterpulsation to improve blood flow and circulation. It is a non-invasive procedure that is used to treat various conditions, including heart disease, congestive heart failure, angina, and peripheral artery disease. The symptoms for long COVID are similar to those of the listed conditions such as chest pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath, which makes EECP therapy a strong potential option to help manage long COVID symptoms.

Worried you or your children may be suffering from Long COVID symptoms?

In short, yes, kids can get Long COVID, and their symptoms should be taken seriously. There are some key distinctions between the adult and pediatric presentations of Long COVID that all caregivers should be aware of. The good news is that there is an assessment available for Long COVID and there are ways to manage symptoms if you do contract the virus. If you have any other questions about Long COVID or want more information on how to protect your family, you can take our long COVID assessment.

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