The Most Serious Covid Cases For Kiddos

April 1, 2021
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What we’ve learned about the nation’s most serious cases of COVID-19 in children.


  • The CDC issued a new report on children hospitalized due to COVID-19 in America between March 1 – July 25.
  • The CDC looked specifically at 576 hospitalizations across 14 states – *not* TOTAL COVID-19 hospitalizations in children nationwide.
  • Around the same time, children under 18 represented about 7% of COVID-19 cases in America and 1% of hospitalizations.

Big Picture

CDC: Children are “at risk” for severe cases of COVID-19 BUT “most reported cases of (COVID-19) in children under 18 appear to be asymptomatic or minor.”

  • Children hospitalized = 8 per 100,000
  • Adults: 164.5 per 100,000

Once hospitalized, children had about the same chance of being admitted to the ICU (about 1 in 3) but lower rate of death.


Median Age: 8 years old

Median length of hospital stay: 2.5 days.

  • Highest hospitalization rates: 2 years old and under (majority under 2 months old); “substantially lower” in those 2 to 17 years old.
  • Greatest number of hospitalizations overall: 12-17 year olds who made up nearly 42% of the group.


Respiratory distress, shortness of breath were *not* the most common symptoms in children. Top 3 common symptoms:

  • fever/chills
  • poor eating
  • nausea/vomiting.

Cough was listed 4th along with a runny nose/congestion.

Black and Hispanic children were much more likely to be hospitalized than white (this disparity is also seen in adult cases of COVID). The specific reason why remains unknown and data remains incomplete. One important statistic: 42% of ALL children had 1 underlying condition, the most prevalent, obesity.

New Question About COVID-19 in Children

Children and Covid

by Jenna Lee,