The presence of monkeypox has many of us asking questions. Parents, in particular, may be curious if children are at risk, who is most susceptible, and what to do in the event of possible exposure. Continue reading as we address these key questions.
Are Children at Risk?
As of August 3rd, there have only been 2 confirmed pediatric cases in the United States. This represents less than 0.1% of cases, showing children are at low risk for contracting monkeypox.
Which Children are at Higher Risk?
Children, in general, are at low risk, however, there are some instances in which certain children are at increased risk. This includes:
- Children under 8 years of age
- Children with eczema and other skin conditions
- Children who have immunocompromising conditions
What to do in the Event of Possible Exposure?
If your child has possibly been exposed to monkeypox, keep an eye out for symptoms. The most common symptom is a rash. Testing is encouraged for patients that have symptoms and have been in close personal contact with a confirmed case, or have traveled recently. Also, keep the following precautions in mind:
- If an unknown rash begins to appear, be sure to cover the skin lesions.
- Discourage the child from scratching the area.
- Children with worsening rash symptoms should refrain from contact with other people and pets. It’s recommended the child have one primary caregiver in the home and avoid skin-to-skin contact.
- Children who are at least 2 years of age and who have monkeypox should wear a well-fitting mask when interacting with a caregiver, and the caregiver should wear a respirator or well-fitting mask and gloves when skin contact with the child may occur, and when handling bandages or clothing.
- Children should not return to school or childcare while contagious. The decision to end isolation and return to school or childcare should be made in collaboration with local or state public health authorities.
Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics