Reviewed by Pamela L. Zeitlin, MD, MPhil, PhD (August 31, 2020)
In cases reported around the globe, COVID-19 looks different in children than it does in adults. Generally, most kids appear to be asymptomatic with mild to moderate disease. When children do have symptoms of coronavirus, they are less severe than symptoms that adults experience. Most kids recover within one to two weeks after symptoms appear.
Children are less likely to report symptoms, so parents need to watch and ask how their kids are feeling.
Shortness of breath
Chills or shaking chills
New loss of taste or smell
Chest pressure or pain
Blue or white face, fingers, or toes
Inability to stay awake
Severe stomach pain
Breathing with a ventilator
Doctors around the country are reporting that some kids who previously had COVID-19 are experiencing inflammation in the skin, eyes, blood vessels or heart. This new syndrome has been named Multisystem-Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), formerly referred to as pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome, or PIMS. It is rare and does not seem to be affecting a large number of children. Learn more.
The information on our website is medically reviewed and accurate at the time of publication. Due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, information may have since changed. CDC.gov and your state’s health department may offer additional guidance.