*All that is tagged goes to this section, but included in the “adult” section*
Children and Long COVID #
Most the studies looking at Long COVID focus on adults, meaning the research on long COVID in children is limited. What little is known about long COVID in children and teenagers suggests that it can be just as disabling as it is in adults. Some studies show as many as 1 in 7 children positive with COVID will experience symptoms at 3+ months. A new, long-term study from the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and their Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Institute recently launched and is following up to 1000 children over the next three years. The goal of this study is to learn more about Long COVID and the long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children.
Long COVID Symptoms in Children and Adolescents #
Long COVID symptoms in children, similar to those in adults, vary widely. Some of these patients didn’t even know they had COVID until their long COVID symptoms developed. However, children are more likely to experience chest pain, cough, exercise-induced dyspnea (labored breathing), and a loss of taste or smell, though this symptom is most often seen in adolescents. In addition to these symptoms, children can also experience fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, headaches, sore throat, and joint pains. In many cases, children are unable to pinpoint specific symptoms but will express a feeling of generalized achiness and an inability to perform routine tasks or exercise (sports) as they did prior to COVID infection. A feeling of being more sick and/or a flare of their usual symptoms after physical or mental activity (sports, social interactions, focusing on a school assignment) is also common; this is called “post-exertional malaise”.
Long COVID, Children, and Education #
With the federal government declaring Long COVID a possible disability, educators are able to offer modifications for students based on their needs. However, we still don’t understand Long COVID. Symptoms can change on a daily basis and physicians have no idea how long these symptoms can last, making it difficult to implement regular changes. In addition, because little is known about the condition, parents may face roadblocks from their local schools when trying to establish modified schooling for their children. However, parents must remain vigilant as their children are eligible for these services as per the new guidelines.
“Students with disabilities—including those whose long COVID is a disability—have a right to be free from discrimination in school. Federal disability laws, such as Section 504, guarantee equal opportunity to learn for students with disabilities. OCR is committed to enforcing Section 504 and ensuring that all students with disabilities have the supports and services needed to fulfill the law’s commitment.”—Suzanne B. Goldberg, Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
“Long COVID is an emerging issue that may affect many children (and educators) across the country. Early intervention and local educational agencies need to ensure that children who are living with impaired development or health due to long COVID that is a disability are identified and are provided the appropriate services and supports covered under IDEA.”—Katherine Neas, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
- Long Covid Kids
- Yale Children’s Post-COVID Comprehensive Care Program
- What Happens When Kids Get Long COVID?
- Statistical problems found when studying Long Covid in kids
- Many children Long Covid studies introduce a bias in the definition of control group, use incorrect use of statistical tests, and have statistical design problems
- Provides several suggestions for future research to improve our understanding or Long Covid prevalence in children
- Long COVID and kids: more research is urgently needed
- Most LC studies do not include children and teens. Those that do include children were done in hospitalized people.
- Relatively few studies involving children are in the works
- Physical and mental health 3 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection (long COVID) among adolescents in England (CLoCk): a national matched cohort study
- In the United Kingdom alone, tens of thousands of children and young people might have long COVID