Parents should monitor children for long-term COVID-19 side effects

Parents should monitor children for long-term COVID-19 side effects.
Parents should monitor children for long-term COVID-19 side effects.(Story Blocks)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 12:34 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Pediatricians are encouraging parents of children 12 and over to get them vaccinated for COVID-19.

Pediatrician and District Medical Officer Dr. Karen Landers said 6 to 10 percent of children who have had COVID-19 will experience long-term side effects, lasting weeks to months.

Symptoms of long-term effects include:

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Chronic headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations

“I am concerned about the long-term COVID-19 side effects that can be significant for children trying to learn,” Dr. Landers said.

Landers says parents need to pay attention to their child’s behavior and be alert to any changes, especially if they have had COVID-19.

The Alabama Department of Public Health is urging those who are pregnant and those 12 and older who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to do so.

According to ADPH, dozens of pregnant women and pediatric patients have been hospitalized across Alabama with COVID-19. Along with that, several are being treated in intensive care units and placed on mechanical ventilation.

“We want all eligible people vaccinated as quickly as possible,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. “We are especially concerned about the recent hospitalizations of pregnant women and children in our state. It is important for everyone to know that safe, highly effective and free vaccines are available statewide to protect against potential harm from COVID infection.”

ADPH says pregnant women are at increased risk for severe complications from COVID-19 including death. Seven pregnant women have died from COVID-19 in Alabama; three deaths in 2020 and four deaths in 2021.

Given the risks, ADPH encourages pregnant women who test positive for the virus to contact their physician about the use of monoclonal antibody treatment.

ADPH says vaccination can help keep people of all ages from getting seriously ill, even if they do get COVID-19.

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