Parenting Tips For Children With Long Covid

Parenting Tips For Children With Long Covid

4 minutes, 58 seconds Read

Long COVID is the preferred term for symptoms that last more than four weeks following a COVID-19-related infection. Even mild cases of the virus can infect children and young adults. According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, 69,000 children have long COVID. 41,000 have been suffering from symptoms for more than a year.

fatigue in children and headaches are the most common symptoms of long-term COVID. However, young people may also experience chest pain, dizziness and nausea as well as anxiety and low mood.

It is not known if all children suffering from long COVID-19 will be able to recover, or how long it will take. According to parents’ stories, symptoms can fluctuate over time. It’s not unusual for children with long COVID to experience a period of apparent recovery followed by a relapse a few months later. The illness’s course is, not linear.

Although every child has their own unique problems and needs, there are some things we can do to help parents or guardians of long COVID children or young people. Tracy and Binita have long COVID children, so the tips below are based on their own experiences.

1. Be a parent to your child

Long COVID, which is “invisible”, can be seen in children. We both sent our children to school at the beginning of the illness when they didn’t feel well. This was either due to their inability to go to school or anxiety.

This was a terrible thing to do. They became worse when they “pushed through”. We advise you to listen to your child and not push them. Seek medical advice to make sure there is no other cause.

It’s okay to ask for a second opinion or share information with a healthcare professional if your child doesn’t believe you. Although long COVID is well-recognized in children, some doctors are still not aware of it.

2. Pacing and resting

You can think of energy as money in the bank. You will soon find yourself in debt if you continue to spend without replenishing your funds. Long COVID can lead to a crash or relapse by using up energy without planning rest. It may take several days for enough energy to start again.

People with COVID have many activities that drain energy, such as watching TV or using social media. Discuss with your children how much energy each activity requires. You might classify activities as low, medium, or high energy. Make sure that you have rest for those activities that require more energy.

It is possible that activities need to be modified. Our children may be unable to participate in sports but can draw and create more if their energy levels permit.

3. Get support from your school

Long COVID can lead to cognitive impairment in children who have suffered from long-term cognitive impairment. This is also known as “brain fog”, sensitivity to light and sounds, or fatigue. All of these things can make it difficult for them to learn at school.

Learning adaptations may be necessary. It can be helpful to break down information into smaller chunks, have shorter lesson times, and works in a quiet environment. We recommend that you speak with the school to discuss a care plan and to ensure that lessons are adjusted appropriately. Children with a long COVID will likely lack energy.

Separately, COVID reinfection can lead to symptom relapse and deterioration in children with long COVID. This can be a concern for parents when sending their children to school.

To reduce the risk of reinfection, we recommend that long-term COVID children have a school risk assessment. If the child wants to use an FFP2 Mask, this can be done.

4. Mental health

Long COVID can make it difficult and even isolating. Concentrating on the losses of children and youth can lead to despair, hopelessness, and feeling trapped.

With our children, we have tried to practice “acceptance”. Acceptance is about accepting our current situation and not focusing on negative feelings and thoughts. We focus a lot on what our children can do and set realistic goals. We celebrate wins and try not to be too upset by what is lost.

It’s also important that parents and family members are kind to themselves and each other. Caring for a sick child is difficult for the whole family. If you need mental health support, speak to a healthcare professional.

5. Non-medical treatments

Research trials are still ongoing for medical treatments for long COVID. Access to long COVID clinics is limited for children and young adults. There are only 15 hubs in England.

However, there are some things that you can do at your home to help your child manage their symptoms. Due to the effects of viral infections, and COVID-19 on their autonomic nervous systems, many people experience an excessive “fight or flight” response. This can affect heart rate, blood pressure, and gut and bladder function. Reduced screen time, caffeine intake (especially in the evenings), and breathing exercises can reduce fight and flight hormones.

6. Information and support

Primary care plays a crucial role in supporting young COVID patients and their families. This includes liaising with schools when necessary. Get support from your GP.

Long COVID may make it more expensive to care for your child. This could result in you not being able to work as often as before. You may be eligible for a Disability Living Allowance depending on the duration of your child’s illness and severity.

It’s easy to find misinformation about long COVID. The LongCOVID Kids charity provides a helpful support package for families and children, as well as an opportunity to connect with other families and kids affected by long COVID. This support has been invaluable to our children.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *