Children and young people

In Scotland, from the start of the outbreak to 17 January 2021, there were 21,455  test-positive cases of COVID-19 in children aged up to 19 years. This equates to approximately 13.1% of all test-positive cases in Scotland. At 17 January 2021 there had been a total of 137 COVID-19-related hospital admissions for children aged 0 to 4. For children aged 5–14 there had been 80 admissions and for young people aged 15–19 the total number of admissions was 84. Children aged 19 and under comprised 1.52% of COVID-19 hospital admissions. At 11 January 2021 one death with COVID-19 noted on death certificate had been recorded for a child aged 14 or under.

Children of all ages can get COVID-19.84 In a European multicentre cohort study (n=582) the age distribution of children with confirmed COVID-19 infection in contact with tertiary, secondary or primary care was: <1 year 29%, 1–5 years 21%, 5–10 years 16% and 10–18 34%. Neonates (age <1 month comprised 7% of the cohort).76

Whilst most children have asymptomatic, mild, or moderate disease and recover within one to two weeks of disease onset, severe cases of COVID-19, including fatal cases, have been reported.77,89,90

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