7 Signs Your Child Could Have Coronavirus

COVID-19 is connected to a rare but serious illness in kids. These are the symptoms to look out for.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there's been one section of the population that's largely been spared: children. But according to multiple recent reports, that's changing. More than a dozen children between the ages of 2 and 15 have been admitted to New York City hospitals due to symptoms of the rare Kawasaki disease, which is now being linked to the coronavirus. The trend also arose in kids with coronavirus in the United Kingdom.

"A pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, recently reported by authorities in the United Kingdom, is also being observed among children and young adults in New York City and elsewhere in the United States," wrote Demetre C. Daskalakis, MD, Deputy Commissioner Division of Disease Control New York City Health Department, in a public letter on Monday.

"So far, from what we understand, this is a rare complication in the pediatric population that they believe is related to COVID-19," New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker told The New York Times. "We are following it very closely." According to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, four of the 15 hospitalized patients with Kawasaki disease tested positive for COVID-19, while six others had antibodies.

Depending on which organ system is affected by Kawasaki disease, symptoms vary among children. But to help you know what to look out for, these are the symptoms cited in these recent pediatric cases that you should know for the sake of your child's health. And for more symptoms to be aware of, check out 6 New Coronavirus Symptoms the CDC Wants You to Know.

Rash on the torso or groin

boy with measles rash all over his body

Kawasaki disease can present as a rash on one's torso or groin. According to Daskalakis, this symptom was present in more than half of the cases of recently hospitalized children.


young woman vomiting into toilet

If your child is throwing up and has any of the other symptoms on this list, contact a medical professional immediately. Daskalakis noted that more than half of the 15 children hospitalized in New York all had trouble keeping their food down. And for more COVID-19 symptoms that should be on your radar, check out The 7 Strangest Coronavirus Symptoms You Need to Know About.

Abdominal pain

young blonde girl getting stomach examined

A study on the earliest outbreak of the coronavirus in China indicated that gastrointestinal issues were the first symptoms to present themselves in many COVID-19 patients. And more than half of the children hospitalized recently also reported abdominal pain.


Close-up of steel toilet handle

Gastrointestinal issues presented by COVID-19 and Kawasaki disease are not limited to stomach aches and vomiting. More than 50 percent of the recently hospitalized children have also had diarrhea.

Persistent high fever

Sick Baby with a Fever

If your child has a fever for three straight days—above 102.2, according to the Mayo Clinic—then you should absolutely contact your pediatrician or a medical professional. Not only is this symptom consistent with Kawasaki disease—which was present in all 15 pediatric patients—but it's a sign your child is struggling to get healthy. And for symptoms of COVID-19 among the older population, check out 7 Silent Symptoms of Coronavirus Seniors Need to Know.

Respiratory problems

young asian child with respirator

Less than half of the recent pediatric patients also had some difficulty breathing, which is a consistent symptom of the coronavirus.

Swollen hands and feet

swollen children's hands

One unique symptom of Kawasaki disease is swollen hands and feet, according to the Mayo Clinic. Though not directly yet related to COVID-19, swollen extremities and/or reddish palms and soles of the feet can be a symptom of Kawasaki disease.


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