Covid symptoms in kids: Do children need to be tested for coronavirus with a runny nose? Signs to watch out for

While children are less at risk of catching Covid-19 than adults and will likely not experience the worse side effects of the virus, these are the Covid symptoms in kids to watch out for

More than 91% of the adult population in Scotland has now received its first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while almost 65% of 16 and 17-year-olds in Scotland have received their first vaccine as of Tuesday 14 September.

But despite increased vaccinations, the Scottish Government has urged further caution to keep positive Covid cases numbers low and allow the NHS to cope with growing demand for emergency services.

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Daily positive Covid cases spiked to new highs in early September after Scottish children returned to schools, where restrictions around the wearing of face masks and self-isolation remain.

Children are less likely to get coronavirus or suffer with it severely, but there are still symptoms to watch out for. (Image credit: halfpoint/Canva)Children are less likely to get coronavirus or suffer with it severely, but there are still symptoms to watch out for. (Image credit: halfpoint/Canva)
Children are less likely to get coronavirus or suffer with it severely, but there are still symptoms to watch out for. (Image credit: halfpoint/Canva)
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The week beginning 6 September saw 4,804 and 4,779 positive coronavirus cases in men and women aged zero to 14 respectively, according to the latest Public Health Scotland data.

But what are the Covid symptoms to watch out for in children?

Here’s what you need to know.

What are the symptoms of Covid in kids?

As with adults, the main symptoms of covid-19 in children are still as follows:

having a high temperature new, continuous cough – with lots of coughing for over an hour or over 3 coughing episodes within 24 hours a loss or change to sense of taste and smell

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends that parents pay close attention to any diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or stomachaches in children alongside any of the above symptoms.

But for the most part, the three most common symptoms listed above are the key ones to remember and watch out for in kids and adults alike.

Do children need to be tested for Covid-19 with a runny nose?

Guidance states that while any developing cold or flu-like symptoms should be kept a close eye on, Covid symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing or feeling generally unwell are not a cause for concern.

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This is despite the rise in such symptoms which have been associated with the new fast-spreading and aggressive Delta variant, which has seen the virus mutate and create some slightly differing signs to older coronavirus strains.

If your child is showing symptoms compatible with a regular cold, such as a runny nose, you should not need to get them tested for Covid-19 and can allow them to go into school as normal.

The same is true for children who start to have minor coughs or common colds, but any signs of a fever are to be treated more seriously and as cause to keep them at home to get tested for coronavirus.

To find out more about Covid symptoms in children and what you should do if you are worried about your child’s health, read about Covid symptoms in kids and what to do if your child is ill on the NHS website.

What should I do if my child has Covid symptoms?

If your child appears to have any of the above symptoms, you should keep them at home, rather than send them to school as normal, and either arrange a PCR test or have a testing kit delivered to your home.

A positive result means that your child and everyone in your household or childcare support bubble should self-isolate for 10 days and stay at home.

Experiences of Covid-19 in children can generally be expected to be less severe or reactive than in adults – even if your child has an underlying health condition.

These rules are the same for older children and teenagers.

But if your child is a university student who tests positive for coronavirus on arrival at university, Scottish Government self-isolation rules stipulate that they must remain in their university halls or private accommodation rather than be brought home.

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