17 COVID Risk Factors Every Parent Should Know

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A child testing positive for COVID-19 is every parents’ worst nightmare. Besides the time off work and the stress of separating them from the rest of the family, which many young ones simply don’t understand, there’s a lingering worry… will my child be okay?

Top scientists from the University of Colorado did a very important retrospective cohort study (what is this kind of study?) to identify the factors that make someone under 21 more likely to get hospitalised with COVID (Graff et al., 2020).

The Study

The scientists studied 434 COVID positive patients in the University of Colorado children’s hospital between the ages of 0 to 23 years old (Graff et al., 2020). Most children were on average around 11 years old. They focused on studying children who were admitted to the hospital with a symptomatic case of COVID who needed breathing support or critical care (Graff et al., 2020).

COVID Risk Factors For Children

The University of Colorado scientists found that:

> Young babies and young adults were the most likely to be admitted to hospital

> Kids that ended up needing breathing and/or critical support often had these underlying conditions:

Asthma, Diabetes, and/or Obesity

> One-third of the children in the study who had gastrointestinal comorbidities needed a gastrostomy or jejunostomy tube

> An elevated C-Reactive Protein Test was a clear risk factor for children needing critical care

> The scientists also found that a history of sleep apnea could be a risk factor for critical care, but more research was needed to explore that connection more fully.

Do other Scientists Support These Findings? = Yes

These findings were validated and added to by Woodruff et al., (2021). They did a study between March 2020 to May 2021 on, 3106 children hospitalised with severe COVID-19.

What Other Risk Factors Were Found?

30% of all hospitalised children between March 2020 to May 2021, had severe COVID, but only 0.5% of these children died during hospitalization.

Biggest Risk Factors Under 2yrs Old

> Chronic lung disease,

> Neurologic disorders

> Cardiovascular disease

> Prematurity

> And/or Airway abnormalities

Biggest Risk Factors Between 2 to 17yrs Old

> Had a feeding tube dependence

> Diabetes mellitus

> And/or Obesity

What To Do If Your Child Has Is At Risk Of Severe COVID?

COVID infections are rapidly becoming the norm that each child will likely experience as the virus embeds deeper and deeper within our society.

If you have children with any of these risk factors, it’s worth exploring vaccinating them. Vaccinating can significantly reduce the risks they face by minimising the intensity of an infection.

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