After a Covid-19 Infection, Children May Develop MIS-C

After a Covid-19 Infection, Children May Develop MIS-C


  • MIS-C is a condition where different body parts become inflamed, and it is a potentially dangerous complication affecting children who have had Covid-19. 
  • Any child who has had Covid-19 can potentially develop MIS-C, so parents are advised to be vigilant for a fever of over 38°C that lasts longer than 24 hours, as well as rashes, bloodshot eyes, swollen hands and feet, a dry and cracked mouth, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, seizures, shortness of breath, severe headaches, and being noticeably down. 
  • Children aged 5 and above should receive a Covid-19 vaccine as recommended, while also reducing their chances of contracting the disease by regularly washing hands with alcohol-based gels, socially distancing, and wearing masks at all times. This is because a complete lack of infection means there is no chance of them developing MIS-C. 

What is MIS-C?

MIS-C stands for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, which is a condition where different body parts become inflamed, and which is a potentially severe complication associated with Covid-19. 

When does MIS-C develop?

Symptoms of MIS-C can develop while the child is still recovering from their Covid-19 infection or around 2–6 weeks after they have already recovered. The average age of children who develop MIS-C is 9, while boys are also more at risk of developing symptoms than girls. 

What are the symptoms of MIS-C?

Patients with MIS-C may experience one or more of the following symptoms: 

  • A fever over 38°C that lasts longer than 24 hours 
  • A rash, bloodshot eyes, swollen hands and feet, a dry and cracked mouth, or inflammation affecting other areas of the body 
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Symptoms affecting the cardiovascular and coronary artery systems, such as a rapid pulse, low blood pressure, or going into shock 
  • Increased hemorrhage risk caused by irregularities affecting blood coagulation capabilities 
  • Digestive system symptoms, including stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting 
  • Respiratory symptoms, such as breathlessness and difficulties breathing 
  • Nerve system symptoms, including seizures, severe headaches, and being noticeably down 
  • Acute kidney failure 

Children with Covid-19 who develop severe symptoms of MIS-C could quickly deteriorate and find that their lives are in danger, which is why parents should carefully monitor them for the aforementioned symptoms. Additionally, should said symptoms present, parents must act decisively and seek urgent medical attention from a pediatrician, who will perform a diagnosis and provide timely treatment. 

MIS-C and symptom severity

There are several levels of symptom severity for MIS-C affecting children with Covid-19, as follows: 

  • For children whose symptoms are neither serious nor involve the child going into shock, the condition will most likely go away after treatment, with children often able to return to school as normal once they feel better. 
  • For children experiencing more severe symptoms, especially those affecting the heart and coronary artery systems, the situation is more concerning. Those children should be taken to seek attention from a pediatric cardiologist, who will perform a diagnosis, treat their symptoms, monitor their situation, and assess how they are recovering in order to ensure parents are fully aware of the situation, including whether the child will be able to make a return to regular exercise and play. 

Hence, the care required for each child is dependent on the severity of symptoms, with pediatric cardiologists best placed to analyze the extent to which that child is ready for a return to play and exercise. 

Treating MIS-C

Treatment for MIS-C requires the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, treatment of symptoms according to which bodily systems they are affecting, and follow-up analysis to check how the patient is recovering. For some patients with severe symptoms that are potentially life-threatening, this treatment and monitoring may need to take place in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Such departments will be staffed by doctors specializing in pediatric critical care who are on hand to support patients 24 hours a day, as well as specialists in a range of related fields, including pediatricians specializing in infectious disease, heart disease, the respiratory system, the digestive system, the central nervous system, kidney disease, or hematological disorders. These specialists will also be responsible for follow-up care once the patient is recovering, which will help them make a full return to their former lives and daily activities.  

How can children protect themselves against Covid-19?

As many schools are now accepting students back on site for lessons, parents must be especially aware of how to protect their children from MIS-C. This protection is best achieved by keeping them free from Covid-19 because of the condition’s relationship with the virus. The following steps should be taken to protect children: 

  • Build immunity against disease in children and their families by receiving a Covid-19 vaccine when recommended to do so. Fortunately, Covid-19 vaccines are now available for children aged 5 and above (information correct as of 2022). 
  • Wear a mask at all times. Parents should also ensure that they buy the correct sized mask for their child. 
  • Have the child carry alcohol-based spray, making sure that the container is suited for their use, such as those that are on a convenient lanyard because they may otherwise forget to use them or leave them behind in bags or on tables. 
  • Teach your child to practice social distancing from others, keeping at least 1 meter away or at arm’s length from others, especially when they come into contact with strangers or people suffering with a cough or runny nose. 
  • Children should wash their hands before and after eating. 
  • Try to ensure children do not talk while they are eating. 
  • If the child goes outside to play, make sure it is an open area with plenty of fresh air to reduce the risk of infection. 
  • Ensure they wear a mask when studying in air-conditioned classrooms at school, and that they avoid sitting too close to others, instead maintaining a distance of 1–2 meters at all times. 
  • They should be discouraged from touching their face and eyes, with parents recommended to reinforce this behavior regularly at home until it becomes a habit. 

How should children protect themselves after school?

  • They should wash their hands with soap or an alcohol-based gel before getting into a vehicle that will take them home. 
  • As soon as they reach home, they should take a shower before doing anything else. 
  • Removed clothes should be placed straight into a laundry basket and their shoes should be sprayed with an alcohol-based spray. 

Parents should be sure to teach and warn their children about how to protect themselves using the above advice until positive habits are formed because of their importance in terms of reducing the risk of infection. 


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