LUBBOCK, Texas- As COVID-19 cases continue to impact families, children also face the risk of contracting the virus.
Amy Bowman said her 11-year-old daughter possibly got COVID-19 at her new middle school. Bowman said she first noticed her daughter exhibiting unusual behavior within the first couple of days of her first day of school.
“Thursday night she started getting very uncharacteristically anxious and just extreme emotions, just not wanting to go to school the next day,” said Bowman. “It scared us a lot because that’s not who she is.”
Bowman said she first thought it could be an anxiety issue, but she said her daughter later started to show other symptoms of discomfort.
“Tuesday night she started getting a sore throat and a headache and I thought, ‘Oh my god, this is strep, like this is strep,'” said Bowman. “Both my kids hardly ever get anything that goes around.”
After a visit to the hospital, Bowman said her daughter was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Sarah Jane, Bowman’s daughter, said having COVID-19 was painful at times.
“I just felt really bad,” said Sarah Jane. “I had a really bad headache to where I couldn’t move my eyes whatsoever because it hurts so bad. My stomach hurt. I was just feeling overall really trashy.”
Sarah Jane said since getting COVID-19 she continues to wear a mask.
“I just want to set a good example because a lot of people are not wearing masks,” said Sarah Jane.
Cecelia Jimenez said in August her two-year-old boy tested positive for COVID-19, which she said was surprising because her kids mostly stay at home.
“I was like, ‘Ok where could he have gotten it from?’ Like we don’t go anywhere. Someone came to our house and didn’t notify us they had COVID-19 or knew they had it,” said Jimenez.
Jimenez said shortly after her baby tested positive, her whole household tested positive.
Jimenez said her oldest twin, 11-year-old Abel Guzman, got COVID-19 last year but that this year he showed more severe symptoms.
“My nose would get stuffy, [I was] lightheaded… and I just kept on coughing,” said Guzman. “It was worse because I wasn’t feeling good. I couldn’t get up that much.”
Brian Payne, M.D. Chief Medical Officer for UMC Children’s Hospital, said for the most part, children who have gotten COVID-19 have experienced less servere symptoms than older adults.
“It may be a mild runny nose, a fever for a couple or days,” said Payne. “It’s very common to also have cough congestion as well as some sore throat is common as well, sometimes some nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.”
Payne said children with underlying health conditions such as asthma and heart problems experience more severe symptoms.
Payne said children who are not old enough to get vaccinated should continue practicing safe COVID-19 protocols such as handwashing and wearing a mask.
Payne said even children with minimal symptoms still pose risk of spreading the virus to others and should stay home to quarantine.
“Even they may not show a lot of symptoms some of them are going to be just as contagious and able to share that virus with other people who may get sicker from COVID-19,” said Payne. “We are always recommending that quarantining time period and really being careful if anyone tests positive for COVID– not just that patient but the entire family.”