Long COVID in children and teens

Who can get long COVID?

Children are much less likely to get long COVID than adults.
It’s very rare in children under 10.

What is long COVID?

Long COVID (or post-COVID-19 condition) is used to describe symptoms that continue for more than 12 weeks after a positive test. In children, it describes a level of symptoms that impact their everyday functioning.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms in children are:

  • changes to sense of taste and smell
  • unusual tiredness/fatigue
  • headaches
  • difficulty concentrating/brain fog

They may also have:

  • muscle aches
  • joint pain
  • cough
  • low mood
  • dizziness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • chest pain
  • breathlessness
  • fast-beating or pounding heart
  • new or worsening urinary symptoms

How to care for tamariki with long COVID:

  • See your GP if symptoms persist beyond 4 weeks.
  • Aim for gradual gains, like getting out of bed, gentle exercise and a slow return to school work.
  • Have a routine in place.
  • Help your child maintain social connections with friends and whānau.
Read the full May newsletter here