As children return to school or daycare, they’re sharing germs right alongside pencils. Some of those germs are causing respiratory illnesses like RSV and COVID-19.


Coronaviruses are a group of common viruses that infect the respiratory tract. The newest one is the virus that causes COVID-19. symptoms of COVID-19 may also include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea


Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a viral infection common in children. It spreads when a cough, a sneeze or even a loud conversation sends respiratory droplets flying through the air. RSV symptoms range from mild to severe and commonly include:

  • Cough
  • Mild fever
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Wheezing
  • Trouble breathing or rapid breathing
  • Loss of appetite

Comparing Symptoms

Both COVID-19 and RSV are respiratory viruses that affects the lungs. RSV can also cause pneumonia, inflammation of airways and respiratory failure. Symptoms as:

  • Runny nose
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Wheezing

Children with coronavirus often have mild symptoms. Some have no symptoms at all. Adults with COVID-19 often also notice shortness of breath. Their symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening. You may not totally avoid illness — but with a few preventive measures, you can reduce the risk of your child bringing home unwanted infections like colds, flu, COVID and RSV.
Here are a few prevention tips that work well for both illnesses:

  • Wash your Hands with soap and water for 20 seconds at a time, especially after you use the bathroom and before you eat. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Keep your hands away from your mouth, nose, and eyes. For kids, that means no thumb-sucking or nose-picking.
  • Ask everyone in the house to cough into their elbow or a tissue, not their hand.
  • Clean and disinfect things that are often touched, like doorknobs, countertops, and toys.
  • Don’t let kids share personal items like utensils or cups with anyone.
  • Practice social distancing, and stay away from anyone who might be sick.



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