Kids might not be at big risk from COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean that they are immune from stress and anxiety from hearing about it all of the time.
One good piece of news that is easy to pick out from all of the doom and gloom about COVID-19 is that kids don’t really seem to be at extra risk from this new disease.
That’s good news, as kids are often in high risk groups and at extra risk for other infectious diseases, like flu, measles, and RSV.
Kids and COVID-19
So why aren’t kids affected by COVID-19?
“There have been very few reports of the clinical outcomes for children with COVID-19 to date. Limited reports from China suggest that children with confirmed COVID-19 may present with mild symptoms and though severe complications (acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon.”
Children and COVID-19
Well, we actually don’t know that kids aren’t affected at all.
Right now, it just seems like they don’t get severe disease.
“Though the evidence to date suggests this virus doesn’t inflict severe disease on children, there’s reason to think kids may be helping to amplify transmission. It’s a role they play to devastating effect during flu season, becoming ill and passing flu viruses on to their parents, grandparents, teachers, and caregivers.”
A critical question in getting a handle on coronavirus: What role do kids play in spreading it?
They could just be getting very mild disease or infection without symptoms.
While that’s certainly reassuring, we can’t ignore the possibility that kids could get and spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus to others in high risk groups, including older people and people with severe chronic health conditions.
“If parents seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Parents should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy. However, children also need factual, age appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk and concrete instruction about how to avoid infections and spread of disease.”
Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource
And we shouldn’t forget that there is one thing that children aren’t immune to right now – anxiety from hearing about COVID-19 all of the time!
What are the most common hidden risks and dangers to our kids that parents might overlook or not be aware of?
Accidents are the leading cause of death for kids, with drownings, car accidents, fires, shootings, and poisonings at the top of the list.
But that doesn’t mean that you should ignore all of the other less common causes of accidents.
Did you know that riding down a slide with your kid on your lap is a common way to break their ankle or leg?
If you did, would you still ride down with them?
You can see Meadow’s leg breaking (her foot is going in the wrong direction) as she is going down the slide with her mom. Few people know this can happen and we are lucky that Meadow’s mom continues to tell her story, so that we don’t have to worry about unintentionally hurting our kids.
toys with small parts – choking hazard, which makes it important to buy your kids age-appropriate toys
lawn mowers – lawn mowers are dangerous and cause a lot of injuries, often when you run over a younger child that you didn’t know was there. Keep in mind that the AAP recommends minimum ages of 12 years to use a push mower and 16 to use a riding mower.
magnets – can lead to serious intestinal injuries if two or more magnets are swallowed
hoverboards – can overheat while be charged, causing fires
clothing – hood and neck drawstrings are a safety hazard and should be cut from young children’s clothing
balloons – it is important to remember that balloons are a choking hazard for young kids, as they can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons.
pool, spa, and hot tub drains – faulty drain covers can lead to drownings if a child gets stuck to a hot tub drain. Teach your kids to stay away from drains and make sure drain grates or covers meet the latest safety standards.
liquid nicotine for e-cigarettes – can be ingested by young children if not stored in a secure place
home trampolines – should not be used and can lead to injuries, even when you think you are using them safely
BB guns – non-powder guns can serious injure kids and shouldn’t be used by younger kids or without adult supervision
loud toys – listen to toys before you let your kids play with them, as some toys with sirens, etc., can get very loud, especially if your child holds it up to their ear
windows – install window guards and stops to prevent falls from windows above the first floor because kids can’t fly
digging in the sand – playing in the sand is great fun and still safe, as long your kids don’t try to build deep holes that are deeper than their knees, cave-like structures, or tunnels that they crawl into, as these can suddenly collapse on top of them
cedar chests – kids have suffocated in cedar chests that lock automatically when closed
playgrounds – too little shock-absorbing surface, ropes on playground equipment (strangulation hazard), sharp edges, tripping hazards, and uncoated metal that can get hot and burn in the summer