What is Long Covid in Children, and How Do You Treat It?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many lives over the past three years, and it continues to affect people who have had it years later.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

The pandemic completely changed our society as we know it, and it changed the lives of individuals more than anyone could understand personally. But, although there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel, COVID is still affecting people. Not only is it affecting the lives of adults, but it is affecting children as well. 

What is long COVID?

Long COVID, or Post-COVID, are a variety of new or re-occurring health problems that were brought about by having the COVID-19 virus. Anyone can experience long COVID– people of all ages, genders, shapes and sizes. These conditions can last days, weeks, months, or even years after an individual has been infected by the COVID-19 virus. 

Sometimes, symptoms go away and then come back again. Some doctors believe that for some people, symptoms may never actually go away. This can result in the condition becoming a disability. 

What are some of the symptoms?

Some symptoms that people often experience with long COVID are fatigue, fever, and body pain. People have also been experiencing heart and lung issues, including, but not limited to shortness of breath, chest pain, and heart palpitations. Neurological problems have also been something that people are experiencing, including brain fog, headaches or migraines, dizziness, sleep problems, depression and anxiety. 

Many people have also been experiencing digestive issues, such as consistent stomach pain. Finally, women have noted experiencing dramatic changes to their menstrual cycles, as well. This is just the tip of the iceberg of things that people have experienced, or reported experiencing. 

Doctor giving a male patient with a mask on a bandaid

It is important to educate people on the effects of long COVID because it changes everyday life for a lot of people. Image courtesy of Unsplash

Why is it important to educate people about this?

It is important to educate people on what long COVID is and what the symptoms could be, because after so long, this is becoming a disability for many people. This disability can take many forms, and lead to many other health issues that can affect school, work, and life for many people. 

In addition to this, regardless of the symptoms of long COVID, all of them are leading to a decline in mental health, which affects everyday life and the way that a person is able to function. Along with most mental health problems and chronic illnesses that are not visible to the eye, many people who are not experiencing it themselves have difficulty understanding it. This is understandable, but it is important as a society to start developing our understanding of these things and helping our family, friends, coworkers, employees, or whoever they might be, to feel comfortable instead of making them a spectacle. 

Small child at school wearing a mask

Long COVID can be more difficult to identify in children than in adults. Image courtesy of Unsplash

How does all of this relate to children?

Children are also susceptible to getting long COVID in the same way that they are at risk of getting the COVID virus. Generally, children heal much faster than adults do, but in this context, the effects of long COVID can be worse on children if their immune system is weakened. This can be specifically worse for children with pre-existing medical conditions. 

Long COVID in children often comes in the same form that it does for adults– they may have difficulty focusing, have trouble in school, or not have much energy. For some kids, they may complain about being in pain often, seem burnt out, or be easily exhausted by the things they used to enjoy doing.

It can sometimes be more difficult to identify anxiety and depression in children than it is with adults, especially with young children. Some easy identifiers are extreme change in mood or behavior, stress, changes in sleep habits (such as insomnia or excessive sleep), or not wanting to be around others. 

A male child and a female child sitting on wooden steps with masks on

Long COVID can be more difficult to identify in children than in adults. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

How to treat long COVID

Unfortunately, because the findings about long COVID are still so recent, there is not much scientific evidence on whether or not long COVID can actually be treated. But, there are a variety of things that doctors and therapists recommend to help ease some of the symptoms.


Meditation is one of the big things that doctors and therapists recommend to combat long COVID. This relaxation technique can be great to aid in getting rid of brain fog, as well as allowing the body to take a brief pause and reset itself. 

When many people think of meditation, they do not think of children. But, starting to help your child practice meditation at an early age can be extremely beneficial for their mental health in the long run, regardless of whether or not they are experiencing symptoms of long COVID. Helping your child to practice mindfulness could be a great way to help them get through their symptoms of long COVID, and potentially get rid of them all together. 

Teddy bear with a mask on

Long COVID can be more difficult to identify in children than in adults. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Therapy or Music Therapy

It can be a scary feat taking your child to therapy for the first time, and sometimes, it may require that you also go to therapy. But, having a specialist that is able to help your child process the emotions that they are feeling, as well as address what is happening mentally that was caused by having the COVID virus is important. 

Music therapy can be another useful form of therapy for a child struggling with anxiety or depression caused by long COVID. This form of therapy can help children to express their emotions and increase communication so you are able to better understand how they are feeling. 

Woman encourages small child to play with musical instruments

Medication can be a great resource for physical and mental ailments if holistic treatments do not work. Image courtesy of Unsplash.


Sometimes long COVID has to be treated with medications if pain or physical symptoms continue. These may be encouraged by your doctor, but a psychologist may also recommend taking a medication route if the emotional and mental symptoms also seem to be worsening or not improving. Medication can be a great resource to help children feel better, but this should be a last resort, and other methods should be attempted first to encourage holistic healing from COVID. There is not currently a medication made for or proven to heal long COVID, but of course there are medications that can help with the symptoms if needed. 

Older child holding the shoulder of a younger child, standing next to a tree

Offering support is the most important thing you can do to help your child’s health improve when it comes to long COVID. Image courtesy of Unsplash.


The biggest thing that you can offer your child during this difficult time is your love and support. They are likely scared and feeling alone, so you have to reassure them that you are with them every step of the way, and that you want the best for them. 

It is also important to encourage them to continue to spend time with friends and family, get out of the house, and refrain from continuously staring at a screen. Although playing games and watching a favorite TV show can help bring you up emotionally, nothing beats spending time with the people that love you and make you laugh. 

Child gazes out window

There are many parents around the world who are in a similar situation to you. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

You are not alone in your journey to find help for your child’s long COVID. This is a serious issue that is happening all across the world, and there are so many parents who are in the same exact boat as you– some who may even be experiencing long COVID themselves. Remember to be gentle with yourself, and keep reminding yourself that you are doing the best you can. You will make it through this difficult time!

Savannah Dawson
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