KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Across the U.S., millions of children have had COVID-19. While most children only had mild symptoms, the American Academy of Pediatrics is suggesting parents take their children for a follow-up doctor’s visit to monitor any lingering effects of the virus.
Dr. Julia Arana from the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital explains why a post-COVID doctor’s visit is suggested and what symptoms to look out for.
Why is a post-COVID visit to the doctor important for kids?
New AAP guidance recommends at least one follow-up visit with your child’s pediatrician after testing positive for COVID-19, regardless of the severeness of the child’s illness. The severity of the illness does not predict subsequent or ongoing symptoms. The visit will be to discuss residual symptoms, explore any new symptoms which could be connected to the virus, and guide a child’s return to activities.
Possible lingering symptoms:
- Respiratory symptoms: Breathing problems, chest pain, and cough can last for three months or longer. Children with exercise-induced breathing problems that don’t go away may need hart tests to rule out complications.
- Cardiac symptoms: Myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, can develop. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, and fatigue.
- Fatigue or cognitive fogginess: Brain fog, trouble concentrating or with memory can linger
- Headaches: Getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, eating healthy and managing stress can help with headaches. Doctors can recommend preventative medicines for headaches that linger or are severe.
- Doctors strongly recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for anyone who is eligible to get it. According to Arana, it’s the best defense aganist severe illness from COVID-19.
- If you have concerns about your child getting the vaccine, talk with your child’s pediatrician and make the best decision for your child and family.
- Frequent hand washing, social distancing, and masking when social distancing are still recommended for a layered approach to defense against COVID.
For more information:
- AAP urges post-COVID-19 follow-up to monitor for residual symptoms (AAP)
- Post-COVID Conditions in Children and Teens (Healthy Children)