Key signs of Covid-19 in children as schools return amid Delta variant wave

By Rebecca Daly

As the new school semester kicks off, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of Covid-19 in children.

We all know what the virus looks like in adults, but it may not be so straightforward with your little ones.

The Department of Education has issued a list of symptoms that may mean your child has contracted the virus. If you notice any, the department urges you to keep them at home and phone your GP.

Familiar symptoms of Covid-19 such as a loss or change in smell or taste, a temperature over 38 degrees Celcius and shortness of breath can be seen in children too.

A new cough, sore throat and runny or stuffed nose, although common in colder months, can also be a sign of Covid-19.

Children who have contracted the virus may have a headache or other aches and pains around their bodies. They may also have diarrhoea.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer. (Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin)

Feeling sick or vomiting is another symptom of Covid-19 that may be overlooked due to how common this happens in children. However, it’s important to take the correct measures by not sending them into school and ringing your family doctor who will talk you through getting a test, if it’s required.

Parents are asked to keep children home if they have been in close contact with a confirmed case or are living with someone who is unwell and may have Covid-19.

To prevent the spread of the virus, schools across the country have been implementing different safety measures to keep students and staff safe.

The Department has set out guidelines for what parents and children alike can do to curb the spread.

Hand washing is a crucial aspect of a safe back to school plan. Pupils are encouraged to wash their hands before they leave for school in the morning, when they arrive in the classroom, before and after eating and especially after using the bathroom.

Parents are also encouraged to remind their children of the fun aspects of returning to school such as seeing their friends, having a set routine and getting involved in school activities. It’s important for children to have a healthy diet, to exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep, as well as socialising safely with other children.

Lingering before and after schools while waiting for your child is not permitted as it may spread Covid-19. Parents are also asked to adhere to recommendations from schools on where to pick up and drop off.

For more information, speak with your child’s school or visit Gov.ie/backtoschool .


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