Children with COVID-19 are rarely the source of infections in their household, according to a new study released by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Researchers analyzed data on children under the age of 16 in Switzerland who tested positive. When looking at the children’s families, they found that in almost 80 percent of the cases, an adult in the household had COVID-19 before the child. Children developed symptoms first in only 8% of households. The authors concluded that children are mainly infected inside familial clusters, like stuck in their homes together.
This study is in line with another one published in the journal Pediatrics earlier this month. It showed 96 percent of the children with COVID-19 lived with adults who were infected first.
While it’s possible school closings reduced kids’ chances of infections outside their home, the researchers argue the data we have now suggest schools may not be a significant cause of infections.
Add these two studies to new data on daycare centers. Emily Oster, a professor at Brown University released preliminary, unscientific data on childcare centers which were open during the pandemic.
So far, 545 daycare centers in the U.S. open the entire time of the lockdowns have contributed data to Dr. Brown’s research. She found that only 22 children developed COVID-19 out of over 13,000 children attending those daycares. That’s less than one-fifth of one percent. And less than 1 percent of the staff at those daycare centers ended up testing positive.
Parents and teachers across the country are rightfully anxious about what to do with schools in the fall. These researchers believe serious consideration should be paid towards strategies that allow schools to remain open, even during periods of COVID-19 spread. We will see what politicians, health and school officials decide to do.