Children May Spread COVID-19 as Easily as Adults

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many of us feeling exhausted. We’re following odd rules. We’re fighting with strangers on the internet. Many of us are having uncomfortable conversations with family members about our health concerns and why we would like them to do things they don’t want to do.

Our team sees your conversations on our social media posts. We know our customers are worried about how to stay safe. And we know that everyone is approaching this differently. We try to remain respectful of everyone’s different beliefs and approaches to safety. With so many different guidelines for what is safe, our team has written about the basics: wash your hands, cover your face and keep your distance.

But some things are more subjective. How close can you be to your intimate family and friends? Is an outdoors picnic okay? Is it safe to hug someone from behind? We have written on these topics because we don’t want anyone to feel alone or lost. People have been making plans to stay safer while staying connected. Being safer is what’s important. No one is perfect. This has been dragging on for months and months. No one can be expected to stay huddled in their homes.

One of the biggest comforts for many people was the belief that kids were mostly immune to the virus. We were told that children had a harder time catching COVID-19 and that, if they did catch it, it was much milder. And, it was believed that they didn’t spread it around. That meant that many people felt comfortable spending time with their grandchildren or other young family members, even if they didn’t feel comfortable around the kids’ parents. Now, research is, unfortunately, making us rethink that.

It still seems like kids are less likely to become seriously ill with COVID-19. Their symptoms are mostly mild, or they remain asymptomatic. But some do become incredibly ill. While they are less likely to become visibly ill, they are just as likely to be infected by the virus as adults. This leaves researchers wondering how infectious kids are. If we are infected by people coughing near us, are their coughs as dangerous for us?

One study found that kids under the age of five with COVID-19 have higher amounts of the virus in their noses than older kids and adults. That means that they could spread it even more than adults. But, kids have significantly less lung capacity, and they aren’t tall enough to cough in our faces.

Currently, the number of kids infected is much lower than the number of adults. Schools are closed, kids aren’t going to essential jobs, none of them are going to bars, hitting supermarkets or running errands. As schools and daycares reopen, they could become infected and possibly be more dangerous, especially if we still treat them as “safe.” Toddlers are excused from wearing masks. And, while the guidelines call for children over the age of two to don masks, good luck keeping a mask on a four-year-old!

Undoubtedly, we’ll learn more about how COVID-19 spreads among children as schools and daycares begin to reopen. Until we do, we wanted to arm you with the knowledge that you may wish to be warier around the children in your life. Outdoor picnics are still enjoyable ways to spend time together, just rethink the hug.
August 03, 2020
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