What parents need to know about post-COVID-19 condition in children

Effects of post-COVID-19 condition and how to avoid it

Vietnam National Children's Hospital
What parents need to know about post-COVID-19 condition in children
13 April 2022

The only way for your child to avoid post-Covid-19 condition is by doing everything to avoid getting infected with the COVID-19 virus. This includes getting vaccinated and following the many public health and social measures that can reduce the chance of getting infected and spreading the COVID-19 virus. 

Post-COVID-19 condition is a term indicating a group of long-lasting symptoms (fatigue, taste disorder, headache, cough, shortness of breath, etc.) that children experience for over 4 weeks after contracting COVID-19 and affect children’s daily activities. These symptoms may persist from the time that children are infected with COVID-19 or emerge after children recover and derive not from any other causes.

​​It should be noted that not all symptoms that children have after getting infected with COVID-19 are post-COVID-19 conditions. Before making a conclusion that one symptom is a post-COVID-19 condition, it is necessary to exclude other causes. Necessary tests should be taken only when there are symptoms. Below are three principles in the diagnosis of post-Covid-19 conditions. 

  1. ​​Coordination of many specialties
  2. Diagnosis by exclusion
  3. Symptomatic treatment, rehabilitation and guidance for parents and children in self-regulation.

Effects of post-COVID-19 condition and how to avoid it

Post-COVID-19 condition can affect most organs. Common neuropsychiatric symptoms are: fatigue, smell and taste disorders, headache, lack of concentration and common respiratory symptoms are prolonged cough, sore throat, shortness of breath,etc. In addition, children may have joint pain, muscle pain, chest heaviness, and palpitations. Multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) post SARS-CoV-2 infection is rare, but is a severe and potentially life-threatening condition and it can appear 2-6 weeks after COVID-19 infection.

There are currently no physical measures, medicine or food that helps preventing the emergence of post-COVID-19 condition. The only way to prevent post-COVID-19 condition is to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in children by taking all the appropriate COVID-19 prevention measures and having children vaccinated against COVID-19 as recommended by the health sector.

With COVID-19 child patients, when parents observe that their children have the symptoms described above or show any signs that they did not have before contracting COVID-19, it is necessary to immediately take the children to medical facilities. For children infected with COVID-19 and receiving inpatient treatment, it is necessary to take the children for outpatient examination and monitoring per appointment of the medical facilities upon hospital discharge.

Source: Vietnam National Children's Hospital, content produced in April, 2022