Experts fear parents may be missing COVID-19 in kids, local doctor says symptoms can be very mild

Posted at 7:27 AM, Sep 02, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — With COVID-19 cases climbing in children, some doctors worry parents may be unknowingly sending their kids to school with the virus.

“It can be a little subtle and similar to other symptoms that you get with a cold,” said Dr. Laura Arline, Chief Quality Officer for BayCare Health System.

Many parents may be wondering when their child comes home from school with a sneeze or cough if it’s COVID-19.

“One sneeze is one thing and, certainly, if your child has allergies and it seems like a run of the mill for them that’s one thing, but if it’s something new, pay attention to that,” said Arline.

For many children, COVID-19 can look like a mild cold.

With the extremely contagious delta variant, doctors want you to look out for symptoms like a runny nose, scratchy throat, nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea.

“They may or may not have a fever so don’t discount it as COVID just because your child doesn’t have a fever,” said Arline.

Doctors say it’s important to pay attention to those symptoms, and do not send your child to school. Instead, call their doctor for the next steps.

“They can very easily spread it to the other kids and that can take down an entire classroom,” said Arline.

If you do notice something in your child that you’d usually write off as benign, experts say it’s also a good idea to check in with their friends.

“Make sure that there’s not an awareness of any COVID that’s gone around in terms of the children that your children are spending time with,” said Arline.

Overall she says it’s critical parents pay attention to anything new since the virus can be subtle in children.