Children and COVID-19
Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date. Babies under 1 year old and children with underlying medical conditions, regardless of age, might be more likely to have severe illness from COVID-19.
NASPGHAN Celiac Special Interest Group Statement on Pediatric Celiac Disease and COVID-19
Celiac disease is not considered to be an immunocompromised state in children, and in itself is not known to be a risk factor for severe disease. Like everyone, children with celiac disease should exercise careful infection control practices, including “social distancing”, washing hands with soap and water frequently and for at least 20 seconds, and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth. Patients with other medical conditions should refer to their provider for further disease specific guidance and to information provided by local health authorities.
Children may present with mild symptoms
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 in children are fever and cough, but children may have any of these signs or symptoms of COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Nasal congestion or runny nose
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle or body aches
- Poor appetite or poor feeding, especially in babies under 1 year old
Babies under 1 year old might be more likely to have severe illness from COVID-19. Other children, regardless of age, with the following underlying medical conditions might also be at increased risk of severe illness compared to other children*:
- Asthma or chronic lung disease
- Genetic, neurologic, or metabolic conditions
- Sickle cell disease
- Heart disease since birth
- Immunosuppression (weakened immune system due to certain medical conditions or being on medications that weaken the immune system)
- Medical complexity (children with multiple chronic conditions that affect many arts of the body, or are dependent on technology and other significant supports for daily life)
*This list does not include every underlying condition that might increase the risk for severe illness in children. As more information becomes available, the CDC will continue to update and share information about risk for severe illness among children.
Steps to protect children from getting sick
- Clean hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid people who are sick (coughing and sneezing)
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)
- Launder items including washable plush toys as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
Watch your child for any signs of illness
If you see any sign of illness, particularly fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider and keep your child at home and away from others as much as possible. Follow CDC’s guidance on “What to do if you are sick.”