College responds to recent reports on COVID-19 and children

Following reports of a small number of cases of a COVID-19 related condition emerging in children, our President has made a statement.

Commenting on reports of a COVID-19-related condition emerging in children, Professor Russell Viner, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said:

We already know that a very small number of children can become severely ill with COVID-19 but this is very rare - evidence from throughout the world shows us that children appear to be the part of the population least affected by this infection. 

New diseases may present in ways that surprise us, and clinicians need to be made aware of any emerging evidence of particular symptoms or of underlying conditions which could make a patient more vulnerable to the virus.

However our advice remains the same: parents should be reassured that children are unlikely to be seriously ill with COVID-19 but if they are concerned about their children's health for any reason, they should seek help from a health professional.

On 1 May 2020, we created guidance, including a case definition, on paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome temporally associated with COVID-19.