The COVID-19 pandemic has affected children in many ways. There have been greater rates of child mental illnesses, widening education gaps, negative effects from increased technology use and more.
However, some children who become infected with COVID-19 also face long-term medical complications, hospitalization and life-threatening illness.
One specific condition linked to COVID-19 infection in younger age groups is multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), which can develop four to six weeks after COVID-19 infection and most frequently affects children age 5-11. While some cases are mild, others require advanced treatment and hospitalization.
Children who become ill with COVID-19 may also face myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and prolonged lung inflammation. There is also a risk for death.
“Thankfully, child death from medical conditions is generally rare,” Colabroy says. “However, it’s important to know that COVID-19 has become one of the 10 leading causes of death for children age 5-11.”