When new coronavirus began to spread in our country, first thing I thought about was my children. One is in elementary school, other is in kindergarten. Children are less resilient than adults because their bodies are immature. Here's what we know so far - what parents need to keep in mind when it comes to keeping their children healthy.There is no evidence that children are more susceptible to virus.
First, an important note: a lot is unclear.
"We don't know why children aren't in news," epidemiologist and professor of pediatrics explained. "The news we get is filtered, we only know what we hear."
Children are often infected with respiratory viruses. Experts say that a healthy child often goes to school or kindergarten. There are up to 10 of them in a season - partly because they're with a lot of other kids, and partly because they tend to relax a bit, like not allowing themselves to do things like wash their hands or wash their hands. Or don't sneeze at a friend. Also, their little immune system is still developing.
However, there is currently no evidence that children are more likely than adults to become infected with this particular coronavirus, CDC said. The agency stressed that most of confirmed cases in China are adults. Also worth noting: The largest study we've done so far on outbreak of coronavirus, known as COVID-19, looked at over 44,000 cases in China and found no deaths among children under age of nine.Indeed, there is some evidence that children have milder symptoms.
The limited information we have on children affected by virus suggests that children with confirmed cases had relatively mild symptoms of a runny nose, fever, cough and some gastrointestinal problems.
Although serious complications (eg, acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, CDC "appears to be rare" children with underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more severe symptoms.
It is not clear why healthy children may respond more mildly to virus than adults.
Some experts said, "Children are good because most of them are healthy, so that may be one of reasons why they show mild symptoms."
There have been examples of viral outbreaks in past in which children generally fared better than adults, including 1918 flu outbreak. Young people may have a strong immune response to virus. But children's developing immune systems may actually benefit them, though it's still too early to tell if something similar will happen with COVID-19.Parents can do their homework.
Maintaining your child's immunization status, firstly because influenza poses a much greater threat to children than coronavirus, and secondly, it can help your child stay healthy in general, which can help him fight COVID-19 if that's case.
Now is the time to make sure that children do not attend school or kindergarten if they are sick. Talk to your pediatrician if you have any concerns about travel.
Therefore, main advice of experts is to wash your hands often - at least 20 seconds.
Having said that, I recently saw my kid get into a big fight with one of his buddies (kids frolic), so it's hard to stop kids from spreading germs back and forth. In a way, you can't do anything about it.