Children & COVID-19

<< More From Fairfax Neonatal Associates

Fairfax Neonatal Associates

By Dr. Sunil A. Kapoor

The COVID-19 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) pandemic was identified earlier this year, and there have now been over 14 million cases worldwide, with approximately 25% of them in the United States.

Although the medical community has learned a great deal about it, there are still many unanswered questions, including the impact on children.


It has become clear that children do not face the same risk from COVID-19 as adults.
While individuals under the age of 19 represent approximately 10% of the cases in Virginia, they only represent <2% of the individuals requiring hospitalization. As a respiratory specialist, it has been very reassuring to see that children with asthma have not demonstrated any greater likelihood of severe COVID infection. The most common presenting symptoms in children are fever, cough, and runny nose, although many children have been asymptomatic.

The virus is spread primarily via respiratory droplets, and to a likely lesser degree, contact with infected surfaces.
Hand hygiene (frequent hand washing/sanitization), physical distancing, and wearing a mask have been proven to decrease the risk of transmission between individuals and within communities. Most documented infections in children have come from infected older family members.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a very rare, but serious complication of COVID in children.
It typically impacts children after an initial COVID infection and can lead to life-threatening complications involving the cardiovascular and other organ systems. While MIS-C is very uncommon, much more needs to be learned about its risk factors and mechanisms.

Children’s mental health has been significantly impacted by COVID.
Anxiety, stress, and depression indices have all increased. Children are navigating new learning models, new rules about interactions with friends and loved ones, and adjusting to physical isolation. While the presentation of this can be subtle, it is an important consequence of the pandemic.


• Are there other routes of transmission (airborne) of the virus?
• What is the timeline of a vaccine?
• What degree of protection do you have if you have already been infected with COVID-19?
• Is there a difference between the likelihood of child-to-adult transmission vs. adult-to-child transmission?


• Encourage and model good handwashing, mask-wearing, and physical distancing practices.
• Discuss the importance of protecting more vulnerable members of your family and community.
• Have age-appropriate discussions with your child about COVID.
• Acknowledge the difficulties and challenges of all the changes we are going through; children are typically more perceptive than we adults give them credit for, and not acknowledging the challenges or our current situation can worsen feelings of stress or anxiety.
• Look closely for signs of COVID in your child — both from physical and mental health standpoints and seek guidance from your health care provider if any are developing.

When it comes to caring for babies and children, Fairfax Neonatal Associates (FNAPC) has been placing the littlest patients in the best of hands since 1973!

This multi-specialty private practice prides itself on using evidence-based practices and the latest medical advancements to treat premature and critically ill newborns and pediatric patients. Today, the doctors of Fairfax Neonatal Associates provide quality care and 24/7 coverage at many local hospitals and office locations, ensuring the best experience and outcomes for patients and their families!

Learn more about Dr. Sunil A. Kapoor, this post’s author here, and all FNAPC providers here. Connect with Fairfax Neonatal Associates online.

Related Articles

Fairfax Neonatal Associates’ Best of 2020

2020 has been a banner year of health-related headlines! Fairfax Neonatal Associates invites you to read their top three columns from the last year…

Keeping Sleep on Track After the Holidays

Sleep schedules — often derailed because of the holidays — are important to get back on track…

Women Matter at Fairfax Neonatal Associates

Many women grow up with big dreams. For the women of Fairfax Neonatal Associates (FNA), we have fulfilled our dream of becoming a physician, a neonatologist…

Steps Parents Can Take to Address Too Much Screen Time

Telemedicine offers convenience and access to your child’s appointments with their providers…

How Sleep Habits Affect Eating Habits & Eating Habits Affect Sleep

Have you ever noticed that after having a particularly bad night of sleep, and the next day, you are more hungry than usual…

Does My Child Have Asthma?

While asthma is very common, the presentation of asthma can be very different among children and it is often misdiagnosed…