Post-COVID recovery in young kids
My daughter got covid 2x. Since second time she has a headache 24/7. This has been for 5 weeeks now. And now also started nausea, eco in the head and most worrying, legs that are failing/unbalacing. Doctors that I've been only gave pain killers and vitamins, nothing helps her. I am totally desperate. Any suggestions? I am considering vaccining? Any testemunials that vaccine mighr help?
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Post-COVID Recovery & COVID-19 Support Group.
@apatayde, I can imagine as a parent you are very worried about your daughter. In the U.S. and many other countries, COVID-19 vaccines are available to children ages 5 through 11. You can read more guidance from Mayo Clinic here:
– COVID-19 vaccines for kids: What you need to know https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/covid-19-vaccines-for-kids/art-20513332
It sounds like your daughter may be dealing with long-COVID, which can happen in children. Here's more information from Mayo Clinic about COVID effects in children.
– COVID-19 in babies and children https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-in-babies-and-children/art-20484405
Have you considered going to a COVID-specific clinic?
This board is incredible. Is there a similar resource for parents of children with long COVID?
My 8yo is struggling with fatigue, chest tightness, headaches, and what she calls “just feeling sick.” I want to get better educated on how to identify symptoms, help her describe what she is feeling so I can advocate for her, and most of all, how to help her recover. We’ve been going slow for some time, but am not sure how to increase her activities as her crashes are usually delayed, sometimes by as much as a day.
I am also struggling to parse out her anxiety about feeling bad/desire for my attention from actual physical symptoms. If I ask her how she is feeling, she always says “bad,” even if she is bouncing around with a smile on her face. When I wait for her to tell me that she’s feeling bad, she’s usually already in a crash.
I think the answer to a lot of this is that she is a young child who isn’t fully capable of recognizing or communicating how she feels yet. I would love child-specific resources on how to support her and how to figure out what medical help would benefit her.
Welcome @jcoccaro. I'm tagging @apatayde who had similar concerns about their 7 year old.
Jcoccaro, you ask such good questions. It must be such a struggle to interpret her symptoms and to get in front her her crashes before she crashes. I wonder if this blog post by Dr. Van might help shed some light, although it is not children specific:
– Early Care Tips for COVID Longhaulers https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/post-covid-recovery/newsfeed-post/early-care-tips-for-covid-longhaulers/
And these discussions about crashes
– Is this a COVID crash? Any suggestions on how to stop a crash? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/the-covid-crash/
– Deep Breathing to Stop a COVID Crash https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/deep-breathing-to-stop-a-covid-crash/
I will look for additional children specific resources and members who have children with long COVID.
I wonder if breathing exercises would help your daughter (and you?) with managing both the anxiety as well as crashes? Has she been seen at a COVID-specific clinic?
"How are you feeling?" There are a lot of reasons why asking that question can be less than helpful, especially when someone has been ill or has a chronic condition. First, it reminds them they are not well in some way. Second, like you mentioned above, children lack the language necessary to specifically describe their current feeling.
So, like we do with children that have a difficult time describing their emotions, we need to figure out an "alternate" language or means of communication. This can be touchy, because you want to emphasize what she can do, but still be conscious of the limitations she currently has.
To give her some power, help her make a chart of all the ways she feels in any given day – be sure to include happy, fine, silly, sad, mad as well as achy, tired, headache, sick to her stomach. Let her pick icons or emojis to represent each one. This gives her permission to be a whole person, not just a sick one. Ask her how she will look to you in each one of these states, then you won't need to keep quizzing her.
Can you try something like this?
– Have a meeting with her, just like you might with an adult, to discuss "how to help you have the best summer you can while you try to get healthier and stronger" Have refreshments, and agenda and no outside distractions (shut off cell, radio, TV & send any other kids on a play date.)
– Talk to her about the need to heal, and set up a mutually agreeable schedule that includes activity, rest, healthy food, etc. Write it down.
– Talk to her about how it feels when she does too much, ask her to think about what it feels like (shortness of breath, dizzy, whatever.) Give her words to use with friends & family to explain why she needs to stop – NOW!
– Help her figure out some low energy output activities (NOT screens) to engage in alone or with friends – crafts, puzzles, board games – to intersperse with active pursuits.
– Ask her to consider a rest period each day, when she will lie down with a book (no phone or screen) for a certain amount of time – don't call it a nap, call it "putting energy in the bank" to allow for healing that will lead to more energy & more fun. If she sleeps, you can point out that was her body telling her she needed more rest.
– Ask her what healthy, easy foods she would like to have on hand, and encourage her to have a small snack every hour or two. This will help keep her blood sugar even and avoid "crashes" due to that.
– Continue to have her participate with family activities like chores and outings, realizing you may need to adjust on the fly. Explain to your family & close friends what is going on, not just "Amanda is having a bad day."
– Finally, ask if she wants you to have a little meeting with her closest friends (and maybe their parents) to explain what is going on. Use age appropriate descriptions, and keep emphasizing she wants to be included, but it may look a little different this summer.
I hope you find something here you can use – as a kid, I had a friend whose heart was damaged by rheumatic fever, and some of this comes from how his Mom managed his health & activity (except for the part about consulting with him!)
Do you think your daughter is able to work on such a plan with you?