Long Covid in Children and Young People

APCP understand this continues to be a worrying time for some families. We hope you find the resources below helpful. Please contact us at office@apcp.org.uk if you have any others you think would be useful to share

Many people experiencing an acute COVID-19 infection will feel better within a few weeks of infection, however some people, including children and young people, have symptoms for longer.

Long Covid, also called Post COVID-19 Syndrome (NICE 2020) and Post COVID-19 Condition (WHO 2021) is defined as symptoms that arise from an acute COVID-19 infection that last longer than 12 weeks.

It is not related to the severity of the acute infection and can affect those who have had mild acute illness.

The symptoms of Long Covid can include, but are not limited to:

  • Fatigue including post-exertional symptom exacerbation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle aches, joint and nerve pain
  • Breathlessness and persistent cough
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Autonomic system disturbances 
  • Sleep difficulties / disturbance
  • Sensory issues 
  • Abdominal pain and gastrointestinal issues 
  • Loss of taste and smell affecting motivation to eat
  • Brain fog affecting concentration and memory 
  • Depression and anxiety

Long Covid can affect children and young people as well as adults, and for some children and young people experiencing these issues physiotherapy can be useful in managing their symptoms and helping their recovery.

NHS England have commissioned fourteen specialist hubs which have been established across England to provide expert advice and support to local services supporting children, young people and their families with Long Covid. Models of service delivery vary nationally, and it is advised that you contact your nearest hub to enquire about services in your region.

More details about commissioning of post covid services can be found here 

Recognising the uncertainties in managing a new and emerging condition with a currently limited evidence base, the APCP have collaborated with the CSP and members of the Long Covid Kids community to develop Professional Guidance for Physiotherapists Working with Children and Young People with Long COVID

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