Parents of children 'suffering' with long-term effects of Covid call for greater awareness

Parents of children who have been suffering with the long-term affects of Covid, are calling for greater awareness of its ''terrifying'' impact on children.

16-year-old Liliana, from Lincolnshire, tested positive for the virus in September of last year. After what she thought was a recovery, her health "dramatically" worsened.

''I got dramatically worse and I was admitted to hospital in October. I broke out in in a rash, had a fever, I was throwing up, so they kept me overnight to monitor me.''

But after she came home, her health didn't get any better. Six months on and Lilianna, who was always a ''social teenager'', is still struggling with fatigue, rashes and headaches.

''I Cant go on any walks because I break out in a rash. I have headaches every single day. I have ringing in my ears so I can’t sleep. I struggle with my memory and getting my words out and concentration. Fatigue is the biggest thing, I’m tired constantly - I get sick every time I eat.''

Her mother, Gail, felt the effects of her daughter being unwell. She says the key is raising awareness amongst parents and health officials alike.

''When her symptoms carried on it was crazy, it was terrifying. It's been depressing for all of us. She was so ill on Christmas Eve, we were in A&E on Christmas Day.''

''It’s important to be aware, children are getting long-Covid and parents need to be aware of that risk and take those risks seriously. We’re keen for investment and research to understand implications of virus in children.''

Her concerns are echoed by other parents.

Frances Simpson, from Scarborough, is campaigning for better awareness about its impact - she and her two children caught coronavirus last March and are still suffering.

She started a group last year, which now has around nine hundred members, including parents and carers of children suffering from long-Covid.

''The narrative up until very recently was that children were not affected, not transmitting, were not likely to get ill so getting people to believe that the symptoms our children have were associated with the initial infection back in March has been really difficult.''

Last month, Frances and two other members of the group raised their concerns at the All Party Parliamentary Group.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said work is taking place to understand the lasting impact of the virus on people of all ages, including children.

“To help children suffering with long-Covid, we have opened new specialist NHS clinics across the country which provide assessment for children, young people and adults alike. These clinics mean medical experts are able to assess, diagnose and treat people suffering the debilitating long-term health implications of this virus.”