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How COVID-19 Affects Kids

Parenting is full of obstacles that can be hard to navigate—even without a toddler yelling at your face. There’s no instruction manual, which means discerning fact from fiction and reasonable from ridiculous can be maddening. That’s where Parentalogic comes in, a digital series brought to you by NOVA and PBS Digital Studios. Subscribe to the YouTube channel to receive alerts when new episodes launch.

Premiered: Runtime: 7:32Topic: Body + BrainBody & BrainNova
Premiered on PBS

You may have heard people say, “Children are less susceptible to getting COVID-19. They'll be fine.” But that's not entirely true: Kids can catch the novel coronavirus, and some studies have shown that children older than 10 can be as likely to transmit it as adults.

In this video, Parentalogic hosts Alok Patel and Bethany Van Delft discuss this and more, asking questions about how the coronavirus affects kids’ time at home and at school, and how parents can help stay informed. What are schools doing to protect children? Are the schools able to actually keep children apart? What’s their ventilations situation look like? Can they create physical barriers in the cafeteria? Will the cafeteria even be open?

Given the newness of the coronavirus, scientists are continually hypothesizing, questioning, and trying to figure out its unknowns. Today, experts are sure that social distancing and mask-wearing—by both adults and kids—is critical to managing viral spread and the pandemic. And like adults, children are most likely to present with a fever and a cough, but may experience abdominal pain, body aches, diarrhea, and shortness of breath instead. (If you suspect your child has been exposed to the coronavirus, check in with your doctor or health care provider. In the meantime, have you and your child wear a mask around each other, and, if possible, dedicate a separate bathroom and eating space for your child to limit exposure.)

Of course, mysteries about COVID still abound: One of the greatest unknowns is why younger children tend to handle coronavirus infection less severely than older kids and adults. Alok and Bethany discuss the current theories and what they might mean for kids at home and at school.

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National Corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Draper. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers. Additional funding is provided by the NOVA Science Trust.

Major funding for Parentalogic is provided by the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and PBS.