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We all hoped it wouldn't happen, but now more and more young children are testing positive and requiring hospitalization for coronavirus across the nation.
Fox News can exclusively confirm the youngest patient in the U.S. has been identified as a 3-week-old infant who was treated at NYU Winthrop Hospital on New York's Long Island in Mineola for several days. The baby has since been released and is now recuperating at home.
As more and more children fall ill from COVID-19, the narrative that little ones are mostly immune to it is quickly changing. While children can recover from it quicker than older adults, like any illness, there could be medical complications that escalate quickly.
Experts say it's a reminder that young people, parents and caregivers cannot let their guard down when it comes to social distancing and keeping a close eye on potential symptoms.
Reports of children with positive cases in the U.S. have ranged from 7-month-olds to teenagers. Many have at first appeared to have simple cold and flu symptoms, like fever, cough and congestion, which then spiraled and required hospitalization.
Dr. Asif Noor, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at NYU Winthrop, explained to Fox News what he has seen with pediatric patients who have tested positive, and what parents and caregivers can do to help keep kids safe.
When his staff first started seeing children who were testing positive, they knew it was coming based on the data U.S. doctors had seen reported in China and Europe and had prepared for it. They are now implementing the plans they had ready to treat young patients.
He said doctors are prepared to provide oxygen to youngsters if they need help breathing.
"And when we plan to send them home if they don't require oxygen. They can be observed safely at home," he said. "We are instructing these parents to adhere to common sense infection control precautions at home."
Dr. Noor explained that children who are experiencing even mild symptoms can be a big risk factor for others in the family home, especially seniors, and recommended keeping a close eye on fevers and respiratory symptoms with young ones, calling your pediatrician right away to talk through the next steps.
"They are going to guide you, they are going to tell you, OK, if they are mild symptoms, if you can take care of them at home, just better the fever control with the Tylenol. If you can make sure they are eating and drinking, then you just stay home and they are going to recover because, based on my experience, it is a self-limiting infection in children."
Noor said the good news is children seem to recover more quickly and don't seem to get as sick as adults.
But, if you have a young child with symptoms and live in a multi-generational household, there are some ways to safeguard your family.
"You make sure if there is an elderly person or someone who has an underlying medical problem, you limit contact with them realistically as much as possible. I mean, with some families, maybe they can ask their grandma and grandpa to go and live with the uncle and aunt for a week or two weeks. Maybe it's not possible, but then you'll have to separate them. Make sure the elderly, the vulnerable, stay in one room. And if you are sick, stay in the other room."
Other pediatric specialists agree, younger children can be more susceptible to infection because their respiratory symptoms are still developing, putting some children who have been exposed at higher risk.