Doctors say 6 to 10% of kids will experience long haul COVID-19 symptoms

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 10:08 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Covid -19 long hauler symptoms are not just impacting adults, but children as well.

Officials with the state health department say Covid-19 cases in children are making up about a fourth of the state’s overall cases right now.

“The concern we have at the moment is obviously there are a lot of children getting Covid,” Dr. Karen Landers said. “You really don’t want your kid to get Covid, because we really can’t predict how your kid is going to do.”

Landers said six to ten percent of kids will experience long term Covid side effects, lasting for weeks to even months.

“The concern is the overall numbers of kids, recognizing that even six to ten percent is not a small number, so we need to protect our kids from getting Covid,” Landers said.

She said the long term side effects can vary, some more severe than others.

“Inability to concentrate, a lot of people call that brain fog,” Landers said. “Some kids having chronic headaches. Some kids having a lot of fatigue, some shortness of breath and palpitations.”

Landers said after a year of virtual learning for many, these side effects can make in person school difficult.

“Even if we just think about fatigue, inability to concentrate, headaches, those three symptoms can be significant for children trying to be in a learning environment and be able to grasp the material and move on to the next level of materials, so that has been my concern.”

Landers worries the numbers of children experiencing long haul symptoms is even larger because kids don’t always tell their parents how they are feeling.

“It is important for parents to keep an eye on their kids and what these symptoms might be doing, how they might be showing up, especially if they know their child had Covid,” Landers said. “Stay in touch with your child. Keep in touch with how they are feeling and doing.”

Dr. Landers said more data is still being done about the long-term impact the virus can have on children of all ages, but she said long haul symptoms can be prevented by children wearing a mask in schools and out in public and to vaccinated your eligible family members.

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