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Some children have ended up in Utah’s hospitals with COVID-19

FILE - In this May 14, 2020, file photo, Jerry A Mann, center, is held by his grandmother, Sylvia Rubio, as he is tested for COVID-19 by the San Antonio Fire Department (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

SALT LAKE CITY – It very rare for children to get a serious case of COVID-19. A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and The Children’s Hospital Association show, however, that it is not impossible. 

While more than 2,800 children in Utah have tested positive for COVID-19, 36 have needed to be treated in the hospital for it. Sometimes, they have even ended up in the Intensive Care Unit. 

Dr. Jennifer Brinton, MD says most of the children she has helped at Primary Children’s Hospital had an underlying condition, but not all of them. 

“Several of the children that we’ve admitted have not had those underlying conditions and have still gotten sick,” Brinton says.

Where are children getting these serious cases of COVID-19? 

Dr. Brinton says most are catching it from family members, though a few picked it up somewhere in their communities. 

Treatments for children in the hospital can differ based on age, with older teenagers getting treatments similar to the ones adults get. 

“[However] a lot of the teens who can let us know how they feel, don’t feel like they’re back to normal even when their lung symptoms improve,” Brinton says.  

What also concerns Dr. Brinton and others is the number of children who develop Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome afterwards, which can lead to swelling an heart damage. 

“The inflammatory disease associated with COVID is unrelated to whether you have an underlying disease,” Brinton says. 

To keep kids safe, Dr. Brinton recommends the same advice adults get: wear a mask, social distance whenever possible, and wash your hands. 

She also recommends children pick out their own mask, perhaps with a creative or fun design, to encourage them to wear one more often.

Read the full report here


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States