Covid symptoms in kids - Do children need to be tested for coronavirus with a runny nose? Signs to watch out for

While children are less at risk of catching covid-19 than adults and are likely to not experience the more severe impacts and effects of the virus, there are still key signs and symptoms to look out for.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 3:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 9:16 am
Coronavirus: Covid symptoms in kids - what should you watch out for? Do children need to be tested for covid-19 with a runny nose? (Pic: Matthew Horwood/Getty)
Coronavirus: Covid symptoms in kids - what should you watch out for? Do children need to be tested for covid-19 with a runny nose? (Pic: Matthew Horwood/Getty)

As coronavirus cases in Scotland continue to rise despite increased vaccinations, there is still plenty of cause to be cautious when enjoying life under recently lifted restrictions on socialising, mixing indoors and travelling for staycations.

Early June saw a new peak of covid-19 cases among under 15-year-olds in Scotland.

The first week of June saw 1,064 children between the ages of zero and 14 test positive for Coronavirus, according to data from Public Health Scotland.

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The data showed a four fold increase on the previous month.

This comes as Scottish teacher’s union, Educational Institute of Scotland, said the Scottish Government should exercise ‘caution’ in making changes to pupil isolation periods and rules.

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What are the Covid symptoms to watch out for in kids?

As with adults, the main symptoms of covid-19 in children are still as follows:

having a high temperature new, continuous cough – with lots of coughing for over an hour or over 3 coughing episodes within 24 hours a loss or change to sense of taste and smell

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends that parents pay close attention to any diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or stomachaches in children alongside any of the above symptoms.

But for the most part, the three most common symptoms listed above are the key ones to remember and watch out for in kids and adults alike.

If your child appears to have any of these symptoms, you should keep them at home, rather than send them to school as normal, and either arrange a PCR test or have a testing kit delivered to your home.

A positive result means that your child and everyone in your household or childcare support bubble should self-isolate for 10 days and stay at home.

Experiences of covid-19 in children can generally be expected to be less severe or reactive than in adults – even if your child has an underlying health condition.

Do children need to be tested for Covid-19 with a runny nose?

Guidance states that while any developing cold or flu-like symptoms should be kept a close eye on, symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing or feeling generally unwell are not a cause for concern.

This is despite the rise in such symptoms which have been associated with the new fast-spreading and aggressive Delta variant, which has seen the virus mutate and create some slightly differing signs to older coronavirus strains.

If your child is showing symptoms compatible with a regular cold, such as a runny nose, you should not need to get them tested for covid-19 and can allow them to go into school as normal.

The same is true for children who start to have minor coughs or common colds, but any signs of a fever are to be treated more seriously and as cause to keep them at home to get tested for coronavirus.

To find out more about Covid symptoms in children and what you should do if you are worried about your child’s health , visit the NHS UK website here.

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