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RCPCH responds to recent reports on COVID-19 and children

29th April 2020

Further to a reported small number of cases of a COVID-19 related condition emerging in children (a novel presentation of multisystem inflammatory disease), the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has made a statement

Commenting on reports of a COVID-19-related condition emerging in children, Professor Russell Viner, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said:

We already know that a very small number of children can become severely ill with COVID-19 but this is very rare – evidence from throughout the world shows us that children appear to be the part of the population least affected by this infection.

New diseases may present in ways that surprise us, and clinicians need to be made aware of any emerging evidence of particular symptoms or of underlying conditions which could make a patient more vulnerable to the virus.

However our advice remains the same: parents should be reassured that children are unlikely to be seriously ill with COVID-19 but if they are concerned about their children’s health for any reason, they should seek help from a health professional.

The recent reports said that some hospitals have been treating severely sick children with unusual symptoms – this includes “multi-system inflammation” with flu-like symptoms. However, it is important to highlight that, both in the UK and in other countries, there have still been very few cases of critically unwell children with COVID-19 admitted to paediatric intensive care units.

Parents should be reassured by this, but if they are concerned about their children’s health for any reason, they should seek help from a health professional.