19815 Bay Branch Rd
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
(334) 222-2523
HELPLINE: 1-877-530-0002



Facebook    

 

SCAMHC is an approved Mental Health site for the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment program.  Find out the program details and see if you qualify by visiting: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

SCAMHC is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer and maintains a Drug-Free Workplace.

SCAMHC serves all individuals regardless of inability to pay. Discounts for essential services are offered based on family size and income. For more information, contact (334) 222-2523 or our 24/7 Helpline at 1-877-530-0002.

 

 


powered by centersite dot net
Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Climate Change Is Spurring Malnutrition in Kids WorldwideNew Year, New Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe and HealthyAHA News: Pandemic Pods Offer Social Relief, But There Are RisksPediatricians' Group Says School Is Priority, With Proper Safety MeasuresKids With Congenital Heart Disease Face Higher Odds of Mental Health IssuesReady to Resume Sports?  Health Tips for Getting Back in the GameMasks Don't Mask Others' Emotions for KidsCould Going Vegetarian Lower Kids' Asthma Risk?Parents Feel the Strain as Pandemic Adds New Role: TeacherInvolved Dads Make a Difference for Disadvantaged TeensPoll Charts U.S. Parents' Biggest Worries During PandemicDo Genes Doom Some Kids to Obesity? Probably Not, Study FindsSchools, Day Care Not a Big Factor in Kids Getting COVID: StudyType 2 Diabetes in Youth Is Especially Unhealthy: StudyWhen Sepsis Strikes Children, Black Kids More Likely to Die: StudyNew Clues to Crohn's Disease in KidsKids With Dyslexia May Have Hidden StrengthsKids' Weight Rises When Convenience Stores Open Nearby: StudyA Better, Safer Way to Rid Some Kids of Seizures?More Clues to Why Kids Have Much Milder COVID-19Pandemic Causing Dangerous Delays in Care When Appendicitis Strikes KidsHow to Keep Kids Resilient in a Strange Holiday SeasonLockdowns May Be Keeping Kids' Asthma Attacks at Bay: StudyYoung Epilepsy Patients May Benefit From Mental Health ScreeningSudden Death More Common Than Thought in Very Young With EpilepsyCOVID in Kids: The Most Telling SymptomsPreemie Babies End Up Hospitalized More as KidsCommon Weight-Loss Surgery Can Weaken a Teen's BonesAnother Study Finds COVID Usually Mild in KidsParents' Age Key to Whether Kids Get Vaccinated Against COVID, Study FindsDoes Parents' Nagging Kids About Screen Time Even Matter?Which Kids With COVID Will Get Very Sick?Add Kids to COVID Vaccine Trials, Pediatricians' Group SaysToo Many Kids Still Get Antipsychotics They Don't NeedIs the Pandemic Harming Kids' Mental Health?Eczema More Common Among Black, Hispanic KidsTelemedicine Is Keeping Kids' Asthma Care on Track: StudyKids With Food Allergies Can Become Targets for BulliesHelp Young Athletes Keep Their Competitive Edge During PandemicAlmost 1 in 5 Parents Are 'Vaccine Hesitant,' Study FindsFor Rural Youth, Mental Health Care Can Be Tough to FindAre Healthy Kids Getting Too Many Heart Tests?Big Spike Seen in COVID Cases Among KidsAsymptomatic Kids With COVID-19 May Also Carry Less VirusLockdowns Can Widen Kids' Waistlines – Here's How to Curb ThatSocial Media 'Kid Influencers' Are Promoting Junk FoodsPoverty Might Raise Black Kids' Health Risks as Early as Age 5Losing Some TV Ads Might Reduce Childhood ObesityIt's Tough to Change the Minds of 'Vaccine-Hesitant' Parents, Study FindsStudy Probes Links in Asthma, Food Sensitivity and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting

Are Immune-Compromised Kids at Greater Risk From COVID-19?

HealthDay News
by By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Apr 21st 2020

new article illustration

TUESDAY, April 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- One of the few bright spots in the COVID-19 pandemic has been the perception that children are mostly spared from its worst effects. But what about kids already at risk of contracting serious infections due to a compromised immune system? Do they have the same protection?

"One group we always worry about when it comes to viral illnesses is immunocompromised children," said Dr. Reggie Duerst, director of the stem cell transplant program at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. These kids are typically more at risk of known viral illnesses, such as chickenpox, common cold viruses and flu.

But, he said, because there's so little information available on COVID-19 infections, it's hard to know how much higher the risk might be for children with compromised immune systems.

So far, he said, the incidence of COVID-19 infections in his hospital is very low.

Dr. Basim Asmar, chief of infectious disease at Children's Hospital of Michigan, said it's just not clear yet whether or not children with compromised immune systems are more likely to get COVID-19 infections. It's also unclear if they would have more severe complications if they got an infection.

"We're not really sure right now. We're still learning, and every day we're learning something new. But with other viral infections, immunocompromised children tend to have a more prolonged course," Asmar said.

Dr. Mehreen Arshad, a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University in Chicago, agreed that there's just not a lot of data on children and COVID-19 yet, especially kids with compromised immune systems. She said that immunocompromised children likely have less risk from COVID-19 than older adults do, but they may have more risk than children with healthy immune systems. She added it's important to "take all precautions" to lessen the risk of infection for these children.

Which kids have a compromised immune system?

Duerst said many children who are being treated for cancer and those receiving stem cell transplants or organ transplants tend to have compromised immune systems. There are also inherited immune deficiency conditions. Children who have certain autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, may take medications that dampen their immune system's response.

Other children who might be at a higher risk include those with cystic fibrosis and other lung diseases because their lung capacity is already compromised.

Among children who've received a stem cell transplant, the immune systems of those who get their own cells back (autologous transplant) are close to normal after a year or two, Duerst said. In kids who get stem cells from a donor (allogeneic transplant), "they are on ongoing immune suppression for three to six months, and often longer. If they have a smooth course, by two years they begin to return to normal," he said.

Kids who've had an organ transplant may remain on immune-suppressing drugs for a long time, often for life.

So what steps do parents need to take to keep these youngsters safe?

Arshad said, "I would be a little more stringent for children with compromised immunity. Stay inside as much as possible. Don't have contact with anyone higher risk, like grandparents, or anyone with symptoms. Don't go to stores. Avoid crowds."

She noted that "these families are used to taking precautions already. They may be more aware of the potential dangers."

Asmar agreed that it's important to follow common-sense infection prevention. And, he added, "If someone is ill within the family, even the mother or father, they should try to avoid coming in contact with the child, and should stay in a separate room."

In addition, Asmar said that children with compromised immune systems should be as up-to-date on immunizations as possible.

If your child has a compromised immune system and gets sick, Duerst said to call the physician treating the immune-compromising condition to get instructions. "There are multiple reasons you do not want to enter just any emergency room entrance," he said. But with a number of precautions and screening in place, hospitals are "still a relatively safe place to be," he added.

Arshad said that for more routine visits, kids can often be seen via telehealth. And if there's something a doctor needs to see your child for, the doctor might have your child stay in the car and come out to you.

"While we're not seeing immune-compromised children get an overwhelming number of infections, there's no reason to be complacent," she noted.

More information

Learn more about children and compromised immune systems from Nationwide Children's Hospital.