Does your child have the sniffles and a sore throat? This probably isn't the first time your child has had nasal and upper respiratory symptoms. While you would have rushed to get them a COVID-19 test one or two years ago, you might not be sure if they still need a swab now. Before you skip a test for COVID-19, take a look at what parents need to know about the virus testing and staying safe during the fall and winter months.
Does A Child Need To Have A Fever To Get A COVID-19 Test?
In the first days, weeks, and even months of the pandemic, fever was a primary COVID-19 sign that many parents looked for in their children. Even though fever was once a solid symptom of COVID-19, it no longer carries as much diagnostic weight.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, some people who test positive for COVID-19 may only experience a low-grade fever or may not have a fever. If your child has other COVID-19 symptoms but doesn't have a fever, they will still need a test to confirm or rule out an infection.
What Other Symptoms Can COVID-19 Cause?
Whether your child has a fever or not, they may still have other COVID-19 symptoms. Even though these symptoms are similar to the signs of a cold, allergies, or the flu, you should never assume that your child doesn't have COVID-19. The only way to diagnose this illness (or rule it out) is with a COVID-19 test.
Common COVID-19 symptoms your child may have include a runny or stuffy nose (nasal congestion), a cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, GI issues, a headache, or a sore throat. Your child could have one, a few, or even all of these symptoms.
Are COVID-19 Symptoms Always Severe?
More specifically, should you wait until your child has what seems like more extreme or serious symptoms before you schedule a COVID-19 test? Like fever, severe symptoms may or may not accompany a COVID-19 infection. Some children have no symptoms, others have mild symptoms (such as the sniffles or a scratchy throat), and others have more noticeable or serious symptoms of this illness.
The potential for different levels of symptom severity makes it necessary to test a child with any sign of COVID-19—especially if they go to daycare, school, or after-school activities. A test for COVID-19 can help you to stop the spread of the disease.
Contact your doctor for more information about COVID-19 tests.