The week's best parenting advice: May 12, 2020

A worrying new kids' disease, the murky future of college, and more

A child.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

1. What is 'pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome'?

Troubling reports out of New York, as well as Europe, suggest COVID-19 may be connected to a dangerous inflammatory condition in children. Three children have died in New York as a result of the illness, which doctors are calling "pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome." It's likely very rare, but as HuffPost writes, "parents should absolutely be taking this seriously." Symptoms to watch for include a sustained fever, rash, red eyes, swollen lymph nodes, swollen hands and feet, tummy pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. The illness seems similar to something called Kawasaki disease. "Both involve a surge of inflammation in the body and can have serious effects on the heart," explains Pam Belluck at The New York Times. Many of the children showing signs of the syndrome test positive for COVID-19, but not all, so uncertainty remains. Dr. Michael Portman, director of Seattle Children's Kawasaki Disease Clinic, stresses that "if your child has persistent fever for four or five days, parents should seek medical attention."

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