Coronavirus in Children
By now, we’ve all been told more than enough what to look for in a typical COVID-19 patient… but what about those cases that aren’t so “typical”. While we are virtually bombarded with article after article and headline after headline about the health and well-being of adults/ the elderly during this time, it seems that little attention is being paid to that of children and young adults during this seemingly unending era of the coronavirus. The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 have unique implications for children and manifest themselves quite differently in young populations than in adults. Furthermore, given the vast differences in the preferences, tendencies, and general habits of young children, the steps we can take to prevent the spread of coronavirus in children must be thought of as distinct from those taken by adults. Even if the general guiding principles of prevention may be largely similar (i.e. social distancing, personal hygiene, etc.), the means to justify these ends often look different in the lives of children than they do for adults. For this reason, the goal of this blog post is to shine more light on the unique, distinct, and significant ways in which COVID-19 impacts children.
Symptoms of COVID-19 in Children:
Cold or Flu like symptoms
Fever (Low to High grade)
If/when you notice these symptoms in your child, the first thing you should do is speak with your child’s pediatrician. If your child is feeling generally fine, their doctor may recommend simple treatments like Tylenol and advise you to increase hydration (having them drink more water, Pedialyte, Gatorade, etc.). Only a small percentage of children exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 have more serious problems requiring more intensive treatment.
While rare, few children have been admitted to the hospital as a result of COVID-19 for low blood pressure, severe rashes, difficulty in breathing, heart problems, and pneumonia.
After consulting your child’s doctor, follow normal COVID-time precautions:
Have both your child and yourself avoid going out --> do not send your child to daycare, do not visit any grandparents/ older friends and relatives, etc.
Encourage your child to avoid touching their face and practice frequent hand washing in and outside of the house.
Keep your child engaged in virtual learning by using these guidelines/tips
Isolate your child and/or yourself as long as recommended by your physician, and have all family members wear masks --> if your child is over 2 years of age, have them wear a mask as well.
While you can rest assured that most child carriers of COVID-19 don’t get very sick, it is still imperative that you and your family follow the above guidelines as a child exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 can still spread the virus.
Protecting your children from Covid-19
Stay home if you are sick (except to get medical care )
Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds and show children how to do t he same
Teach and reinforce preventative habits in the home !!! ⇒ here are some tips for talking to children about COVID-19
Encourage children to spend time/ play outside
Clean any touched surfaces in house -- i.e. toys, tables, doorknobs, etc. - and packages/ plastic covers with disinfectant
Clean all fruits and vegetables thoroughly
Be in close contact with people who are sick
Attend / be near large gatherings
Share or allow children to share food or drinks
Ayurvedic Tips to Treat/Prevent COVID-19 in Children
In conjunction with the allopathic advice and CDC recommended guidelines above, ancient Ayurvedic practices and recipes can prove really beneficial in continuing your child’s fight against COVID-19... often before it even starts! Most importantly, rest is the best medicine… make sure your child is getting 8-10 hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep (adding naps if necessary!)
Strong immunity keeps children (and adults!) away from the virus just as all medical preventative measures do. The following guidelines will help boost your child’s immune system:
Avoid cold drinks of any kind, esp. sugary drinks
Avoid dairy products, processed foods, and refined sugars
Encourage your child to eat light yellow lentil soup
Introduce Amla or Cheyvanparesh (.5-1 tsp / day)
Honey is NOT recommended for symptomatic children
If your child is exhibiting symptoms, try...
Light Yellow Lentil Soup
Homemade Lemonade → best option for a cold drink
> combine cane sugar, some crushed mint leaves, and lemon juice with
room temperature water
Ginger, Licorice, Turmeric Tea-- if your child is fussy with the turmeric, reduce it to half! Adding licorice root can sweeten the bitterness of turmeric
1. Put 2 tsp. of shredded ginger with 12-16 cups of water in a pot and boil
2. Once the water is boiled, turn the heat down, add ½ tsp of licorice root
(chopped up) → if you don’t have licorice root, skip this step
3. Cover the pot and continue to boil for another 5 minutes on low heat
4. Strain the water into a cup, add ¼ tsp of turmeric powder (per cup)
>>> Drink every 2 hours until symptoms subside <<<
Echinacea Tea → only give this tea for up to a week
> soak a tea bag in a cup of boiled water for 2 minutes ((you can use the same tea bag throughout the day))
Mint and Tulsi (Holy Basil) Tea → great if you have these growing in your garden! Just throw a few leaves of each in a hot cup of water and steep
Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in children
Very rarely, children who have had COVID-19 go on to develop the Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in children (MIS-C) a few days or weeks after being infected with the coronavirus .
Children with this condition have high fevers and they look sick. Additionally, a child with MIS-C might experience:
pink or red eyes
swollen lymph nodes
strawberry like tongue
swollen hands and feet
dry cracked lips.
If your child has a persistent fever lasting more than a day with any of the above symptoms it is best to call your child’s doctor. Your child’s Doctor may get some blood work done or may ask the child to be taken to the Emergency Room. Children with this condition will need to be admitted to the hospital for further care. Most children recover with treatment but some may need to be checked for heart problems.
Homeopathic Tips for Children to Fight Covid-19
Homeopathic medicine, founded in Germany by the Dr. Samel Hahnemann in the 17th century, is grounded in the Principle of Homeopathy or the “law of similar” : that, when exposed to any ultra-diluted substance in crude form, the body can stimulate the immune system in a way that fights the related disease symptoms caused by higher quantities of the substance. Usual quantities utilized in homeopathic medicine are either 1/10 or 1/100 of a substance’s dilution. All in all, homeopathy is unique in that it considers the subjective as well as the objective symptoms of a patient, such as the mental symptoms experienced during this pandemic by children due to the high-stress environment we are all living through.
Following are the most common homeopathic remedies that we believe can be used alongside your Physician’s recommendations and CDC guidelines:
For fear of disease and anxiety:
Aconitum Napellus, Arsenicum Album, Chamommilla
For sudden onset of Viral illnesses/symptoms:
Aconitum Napellus, Belladonna
For fever and lethargy( during illness ):
Schussler’s cell salts -- Ferrum Phos 6x or Kali Phos 6x
For fever and lethargy (post-illness):
Gelsemium, Phosphorus, Bio-Plasma, Cell Salts
Aconitum Napellus, Veraturm Album, Camphora
For skin symptoms:
Sulfur, Arsenicum Album, Mezerum, Urtican Urens
For loss of smell and taste:
Zincum Metalicum (prescribed)
No matter what … :
> Ensure you/your child are getting enough Vitamin C from vegetables/fruits, and
supplement with Liposomal or Absocorbyl Palmitate if necessary
> High quantities of Vitamin A are found in carrots, Zinc is found in ginger, and
Selenium is in Brazil nuts
>Consume probiotics found in yogurt, kombucha, fermented foods (pickles, etc.)
Disclaimer - This blog is for informational purposes only. For any specific treatment questions and specific treatment please contact your child's Doctor.
About the Contributors-
Dr Bhavana Vyas is a practicing Pediatrician in Macomb County, Michigan and has special interests in care of newborn babies, lactation services, child preventative care, allergies, asthma and ADHD
Dr Sujal Panchal is a practicing Pediatrician in Riverview, Michigan and has special interests in preventative child and adolescent care, newborn care, sports medicine and emotional health of children.
Umangini Desai, CCH, RsHom(NA), BHMS. is a certified practicing Homeopath in Canton and AnnArbor, MI. She has a special interest in Homeopathic care for all ages along with functional medicine, nutrition and lifestyle coaching.
Meena Puri is an Ayurvedic Practitioner in Milford, specializing in nutritional and life style approaches to health with a focus on counseling and healing.
About the editor-
Natasha Vasan is a student at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois