The Omicron symptoms parents are seeing in children


Parents have been sharing the most common Omicron symptoms they have encountered with their children.

With no official information on any differing symptoms with this new strain of Covid, the NHS still lists a new persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste and smell as the warning signs.

But parents have been telling us how the virus, particularly since the variant emerged, has affected their youngsters.

We asked them what the main symptoms have been on our Manchester Family Facebook page and were inundated with responses.

Read more: Signs of Omicron in children – doctor shares key symptoms to look out for

While some said their children had tested positive but had no symptoms whatsoever, others said it had made their kids quite poorly – with a few still suffering symptoms weeks after catching the virus.

It comes as the number of infants hospitalised with Covid in the UK has risen during the Omicron wave, although experts have urged calm saying most cases are very mild.

Data published by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) on Friday reveals that in previous Covid waves about 30% of children in hospital with the virus were under the age of one, but between mid-December and mid-January, that figure rose to 42%.

By the far the most common symptoms parents told us about were a cold, headache and temperature

They point out that ‘the severity of disease for children remains low’, adding: “For the small number of children who do attend hospital, the length of stay is typically short and where they stay overnight it is often to allow for screening for other infections.”

By the far the most common symptoms parents shared with us were a cold, headache and temperature.

More than 50 told us their child had suffered a headache, with 48 stating fever/temperature and 46 describing it as a cold, or a runny/ snotty nose.

The next most commonly suffered symptom was tiredness, with 33 parents stating fatigue or saying their child was generally sleepy with no energy.

More than two dozen said their child had had a cough and while for some it was mild, for others it was more severe. A similar number complained of a sore throat.

Among the other commonly mentioned symptoms were sickness or stomach ache, having no appetite, losing taste or food tasting funny and feeling achy or with muscle pain, commonly achy legs or back ache.

Some said their children had suffered diarrhea or an upset stomach, while others said their child had been sneezing, or had sore or bloodshot eyes, or were pale.

Other symptoms cropped up just a couple of times, including breathlessness, a rash and night sweats.

The full list of symptoms mentioned by parents can be found below.

Dr Laurence Dorman

It comes after a GP highlighted the Omicron signs and symptoms to look out for in children.

Dr Laurence Dorman has drawn from his experience working as a GP to outline how symptoms have been developing in children.

Warning of tiredness, headache and a high temperature, he said: “The symptoms are different in children and with this new variant, some people are reporting more coryza, the medical term for cold-like symptoms, rather than flu.

“Coryza is more runny noses and less serious symptoms whereas we know from the very first Alpha wave that people were presenting with more classic flu symptoms and were aching and sore.

“It’s very difficult with children as temperatures can be quite common in that age group. The big thing we ask people to do is to trust their instincts. Parents know their children well and they know when they’re not well.”

Omicron symptoms in children / the number of parents who reported them to us

  • Headache – 53
  • Temperature / fever – 48
  • Cold, runny/snotty nose – 46
  • Tired / fatigue / lethargic – 33
  • Cough – 29
  • Sore throat – 28
  • Sickness – 15
  • Achy / muscle pain – 12
  • No appetite – 11
  • Sore/ bloodshot eyes – 8
  • Diarrhea – 7
  • Sneezing – 7
  • Stomach ache – 6
  • No taste or food smells funny – 4
  • Pale – 4
  • Chills / cold – 3
  • Back ache – 3
  • Breathless – 2
  • Rash – 2
  • Night sweats – 2
  • Dizzy – 2
  • Thirsty – 1
  • Hot belly – 1
  • Ear ache – 1
  • Neck ache – 1
  • Chest pains 1
  • Migraine – 1
  • Cold hands and feet – 1

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