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How Pediatric CoVid presents differently in children and the warning signs to look for

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 11:55 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - As Wyoming kids head back to school this week, concerns over pediatric Covid rises. This week, five pediatric cases have been admitted to the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, and Covid Positive mothers are giving birth.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 8,268 children tested positive for Covid in Wyoming. Nationally 17,865 children were hospitalized with Covid.

Dr. Joanne Hassell, Chief of Pediatrics and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, spoke about pediatric Covid, risks, and precautions.

Experts say Covid in kids presents differently. It can show up as pink eye, a sore throat, headache, shortness of breath, coughing, stomach aches, vomiting and diarrhea.

Sixty percent of kids present a fever. Children can also unknowingly have a Covid infection and have a delayed reaction to infection for up to 4 to 6 weeks.

Potentially leading to Multi-Inflammatory Systematic Syndrome in Children (MISC.) Which can cause inflammation of the kidneys, brain, and heart as their bodies fight an infection they no longer have, leading kids to the ICU with shock.

Ninety percent of these cases have long-term consequences, like learning disabilities or organ damage.

Vaccines and Viruses

The FDA delayed vaccines for children because, initially, the Alpha variant affected elderly adults more severely.

The emergency rush on Covid vaccines is also a misnomer. The FDA had already been testing SARS variations vaccines for close to 20 years and only had to adjust the variant to meet the current Covid demand.

“Now they’re doing research on elementary aged kids and younger, because we may have to change the dose. We have to see if there are any different side effects that might pop up,” said Hassell

Critics have stated that Flu and Covid numbers are similar and present the same risks, but when comparing the risks, Hassell stated before Covid hit, they had a moderate year with 199 Flu deaths. Last year there were 378 Covid deaths, with masking and other precautions.

“It really is more dangerous than our seasonal influenza, plus we have vaccines available for everyone for influenza to help with that,” said Hassell

Hassell states that vaccines are far safer than most drugs because they are researched so heavily for public use.

“They’re safer than antibiotics...Tylenol, or ibuprofen. Even the side effects we have seen are still less than any of those same side effects you’d get with Covid,” said Hassell.

Masking

Hassell also stresses masks don’t deprive kids of oxygen, even when oxygen levels have been tested while wearing masks, and it’s important for children to take precautions.

Hassell stated she has severe asthma and has been wearing a mask throughout the pandemic and has had no problems breathing. that oxygen and carbon dioxide are so small and pass through the materials easily, it only traps peoples saliva and mucus inside the mask to stop spread.

Hassell also described that most children also ingest their mucus and saliva frequently since a lot don’t blow their noses often enough, but it is safe because it’s their own germs and secretions they are ingesting.

“If your kid does have an underlying condition, especially a respiratory one, you really want them wearing a mask because those...put them at a greater risk of having complications from Covid.”

Hassell says masking should be universal, especially for younger kids.

“The more we let it (Covid) spread, the higher the chances we’re going to have a more deadly, a more contagious variant, and that’s what we’re seeing with Delta,” said Hassell.

Another co-morbidity factor to watch out for is obesity, 75 percent of kids that have died share this in common.

Hassell also recommends vaccines for pregnant and breastfeeding moms to lend their babies immunity for Covid.

“As a parent of a first, and a second grader, and as a doctor with a disabled husband, I’m very worried about my kids. I’m very worried about bringing something home to them. I’m worried about my kids bringing something home. I don’t have the option of keeping my kids to home school, I’m the sole bread winner for my family. “

Hassell emphasized the importance of responsibility and the impact of choice on the well-being of others.

“I think we really need to remember that our decisions really impact everyone around us. So yes, it is your choice, but your choice impacts everyone you come into contact with, and so it’s really important to remember that and... choose responsibly,” said Hassell.

For more information on Children and Covid-19 click here.

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