Your lived experience with COVID

On the 6th January 2022, we asked you, our community, to share your experience of COVID with your children.

We asked you six questions and tens of you generously responded with your answers and advice.

These experiences aim to provide insight, comfort and reassurance to parents.

The level of anxiety and panic is palpable. I am here to alleviate fear, dispel myths and provide reassurance to parents of little ones who are feeling so unsure, anxious, uncertain, worried (or all of the above). I aim to create some calm amongst all of the chaos.

There are quite a few answers, so I've summarised the comments in my own words in bold.

I hope this helps.

What was your child’s main symptom with covid?

From your experiences the most common symptoms were the usual.Nothing unusual to report here. A couple of viral rashes in addition to the common symptoms- Fever, runny nose, cough, rash, diarrhoea, congestion, lethargy, irritability,

“8mnth old. Fevers and irritable. Totally manageable with Panadol and nurofen.”
“Head cold”
“15months old- ongoing fevers, worsening cough Day 2 today, poor appetite 😢”
“7yearold-mild cough, runny nose, mild sore throat, mild fever .”
“Blocked nose, irritable, warm torso”
“Diarrhea and viral rash. My two had Covid March 2022 so it was probably the alpha variant”
“Stuffy nose”
“Sore throat”
“Cough and slight congestion she is 10 weeks”
“Day 5 since being tested + My 1yr old started with a fever, very lethargic, no appetite, only breast milk”
“Fever, cough, and very tired”
“38.3 little headache and muscle pain. All good next day. 6yo”
“Fever (up to 40 degrees celsius) and diarrhoea”
“My 8 month old daughter had fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, cough, irritability and tiredness.”
“Temperature and cough”
“The cough! The awful lengthy annoying cough 😷”
“Cough and runny nose and rash (13 months old)”
“Headache, fever and cough”
“Both 18mo and 7wk old has runny nose, one sneezing the other had a cough”
“Irritated, more than the terrible 2s. Off his food, snotty nose & chesty cough. Otherwise good.”
“Cough. It started a day before his fever and runny nose.”
“Headache, body aches and vomiting”
“Fever to start with then cough and slight runny nose! Nothing too major thankfully”
“Slight fever”
“Our darling 0 week old started to get symptoms 3-4 days ago. Nose congestion, then fevers.”
“Irritability, disrupted sleep, mild cough for a few days. Congestion”
“Fever and snotty nose”
“4 month old- Dry cough that turned into mucous cough with a snotty/stuffy nose”
“Cough and just wasn’t himself”
“I have a 7 month old with just a temps but happy my two y/o dry cough only and full of beans”
“Snotty nose”
“Runny nose”
“Chesty cough and mild temps”

How long were they unwell for?

Pleased to report a relatively *short* length of illness with the 2-4 days being the average.

“A week”
“2-3 days max”
“2 days”
“2-3 days”
“Few days”
“Couple weeks”
“2 days”
“More then 7 days now”
“2 days”
“3 days. Still slightly lethargic one week later”
“3 days”
“2 weeks”
“2 days so far…”
“1 day”
“2-3 days”
“4 days so far but improving”
“3 days”
“We are on day 4 and counting”
“Has been a week so far and still going”
“24 hours”
“4 days”
“2-3 days with high temperatures”
“Day 2 into it so wish me luck it’s a quick recovery for him 🙏🙏”
“3 days”
“Currently 5 days”
“2 daya”
“24-48hrs fevers, lingering cough on and off 2 weeks”
“It’s day ⅘ and they are retuning to themselves.”
“2 days”
“3-4 days, 1-2 unsettled nights”
“This is day 2 so far”
“36 hours (I wish it was the same for me)”
“Really unwell one day, mildly sick a week”
“Hard to say, had a running nose prior. Very mild symptoms.”

What was your biggest worry or concern?

A variety of worries or concerns from parents.The process of hospitalisation, breathing, fever, hydration levels and spreading to siblings were the very common concerns (and all incredibly valid).

“Not knowing if they would go downhill and have to go to hospital”
“The unknown on the effect of Covid in babies”
“Just making sure child got the rest for body to heal”
“Ending up in hospital during this crisis and long term issues 😢”
“They couldn’t tell me what was wrong/how they were feeling”
“Fever and breathing difficulties”
“It was very new, not much info was out yet. My baby was 2 weeks old”
“How his body would react. Him giving it to his younger siblings”
“Him not breathing well”
“His temperature going up really high and his breathing”
“It spreading. We’re surrounded by vulnerable people including myself”
“The fever and how grumpy she was. That she was in pain as she kept hitting her head”
“Becoming dehydrated bc diarrhoea/not eating solid while sick”
“I have COVID too I wouldn’t be able to take her to the hospital if she needed to be there”
“Complication with breathing, necessity to go to hospital, fewer that difficult to manage”
“High temps at night”
“Breathing difficulties or long term health effects”
“The high temperatures and that my poor 6 month old was so miserable”
“Breathing difficulties”
“The rash. Health direct was very helpful!!”
“Long COVID”
“Sharing with little brother”
“That they would end up hospitalised and I wouldn’t be able to go with them”
“Just the unknown and the long term effects it may have”
“My son had Trachealbroncheal Malacia so I’m always worried c”
“There was no fever so I wasn’t too concerned”
“A fever which never came”
“His breathing as he developed a croup like cough”
“His temperature”
“Fever - temps - only because he is 9 weeks old.”
“Being back in hospital with my ex-perm baby after spending so long there after his birth”
“They would struggle breathing at night (we slept in their room just in case)
“Hydration for 7 month so far still doing normal but it’s worry it might change”
“How to access in person medical help if we needed it with going to ED”
“Baby is 10 month, his symptoms worsening especially breathing”

What worked well? Or advice for parents caring for unwell kids with COVID?

A common theme here is age appropriate pain relief, cuddles, fluids, rest, fruit + veg, electrolytes, nasal spray for bubs, fresh air, skin to skin, baths/shower/water.

“Panadol cuddles lots of sleep”
“Nurofen and cuddles”
“Panadol, nurofen and co sleeping instead of him being in his cot relieve my anxiety”
“Rest, sleep, water, vit c, zinc, no sugar or processed foods”
“Regular paracetamol and lots of cuddles”
“Fess nasal spray, vaporiser in room”
“Make a plan for what you will do if your child or a parent tests positive beforehand”
“Warm baths. Lots of vicks in the air saline H2O”
“Try not to stress, small damp towel (pinch of vinegar n cold water) occa plcing it on baby”
“Panadol, nurofen, sleep”
“Lots & lots of breastmilk, Neurofen for the fever. Cuddles and showers together helped her. She only really would eat fruit so we let her have it all. Lots of vitamin c fruits"
“Rest lots of rest and lots of cuddles. Warm showers and baths”
“Lots of rest, hydralite and skin to skin”
“A looot of fluids. Fresh air.”
“Paracetamol and lots of cuddles”
“Panadol, nurofen and hydralite icy poles”
“Nurofen and Panadol alternatively. Nurofen was the most effective at reducing fever”
“Make a Telehealth appointment with your GP. There’s very little support, it can be lonely.”
“3 Sippy Cups! 1 with water, 1 with hydralite and 1 with honey and warm water”
“Lots of TLC, patience, Panadol, food pouches (seem more liquid than anything)”
“Paracetamol, ibuprofen and rest!”
“Panadol every 4hrs kept the fever down but just lots of cuddles and warm baths”
“Quercetin, vit c, zinc and vit d”
“5 week old baby, giving him a shower to make him happy”
“We were given steroids via a Telehealth appointment to treat his croup like cough
“Took pressure of solid food and focused on hydration”
“Panadol for temps, stripping down clothes, cuddles/skin to skin, snotty boss.”
“Alternating Paracetomol and ibuprofen”
“Lots of cuddles and fluids, extra breastfeeds and watermelon too”
“Lots of sleep or quiet time, water, Panadol & Nurafen”
“Panadol, extra breastfeeds and screen time for distraction”
“Called MCH line & did a GP phone consult. Not googling advice”

Piece of advice to parents caring for their little ones with COVID?

Common themes- Try not to worry, don't panic, stay calm, every moment is temporary, stay strong, treat like a normal cold, monitor for red flags, its not your fault, no question is silly, get prepared, have your plan, follow your instincts and take it day by day.

“It will pass treat into like a regular cold monitor for any serious symptoms”
“Try not to worry, babies will have colds and flus affect them much worse than Covid.”
“Unless underlying issues treat as you would cold or flu”
“Stay strong ❤️”
“It’s not your fault; routine out the window - lots of cuddles and quiet time”
“Reach out to whoever you can to talk through symptoms”
“Lots of cuddles, extra feeds (baby), electrolyte icy poles for toddler”
“Pedialyte popsicles”
“Lots of TLC”
“As hard as it is (1st time mum and sick baby experience) your Bub is a trooper! Believe in their.”
“Never be scare to reach out to dr with questions. No question is silly”
“I’d also say, get your COVID survival kit ready now! Pain relief, hydralite, throat lozenges”
“Constantly monitor temperature and symptoms. Keep fluids up”
“Treat it as if your child has a common cold & seek extra support if it gets worse”
“It’s awful but it will pass”
“Hydration, small snacks, reset, cuddles and more cuddles. Ignore everything else.”
“Stay calm. Call health direct if concerned and can’t reach your GP.”
“Don’t panic! It presented the same way any other virus has in my children.”
“Lots of cuddles”
“Treat it like a normal virus. And take the recommended supplements for Covid protocol”
“Have a Tele health with a GP to have them answer all of your questions.”
“Lots of cuddles and keep an eye on their breathing”
“Follow your instincts and try not to worry too much if they are presenting happy.”
“Lots of cuddles!”
“They don’t know if it’s any different to their usual cold so try to keep calm for them!”
"Keep your own fluids up and monitor but not crowd”
“Monitoring the symptoms closely and taking it day by day.”

What medical advice did you seek to support you through?

There are a number of excellent advice lines listed below, some are state specific.

Fantastic use of a number of community health services by all parents here including, GP's, nurse on call, health direct and covid hotlines.

“SA health care team (phone calls)”
“Could not reach any hotline (nurse on call etc) GP booked out but my local community MCHN wonderful”
“Doctors didn’t really know what to do at the time. They were checked over and both were ok”
“Called the nurse line”
“Why to risk children’s to make sure his fever stayed down”
“GP- Monitor temp and breathing etc Australian breastfeeding ass-“
“If I should be seeing dr for diarrhoea”
“Didn’t have a lot actually. Not many info about Covid and kids.”
“Rang both coronavirus and nurse on call hotlines but was unable to get through”
“My mum the retired ED nurse”
“I had two Telehealth appointments with my GP.”
“GP, ambulance line, corona line and health direct. (Health direct was amazing)
“None. Just referred to the info on NSW Health”
“GP is calling us daily to check in on her”
“Spoke to a nurse for Barwon Health who reassured me. Was a follow up call after testing positive.”
“None. We just managed it and if we felt medical support needed we would’ve”
“GP, maternal health”
“We had a Telehealth after he developed a croup like cough”
“Called the National Covid hotline”
“MCH line and GP phone consult”

Thanks reading until the end. I hope you found this helpful. If you have any feedback, I'd love to hear it. Please email me-

Warrnambool parent's first aid training helped avoid serious burns

The quick thinking of Warrnambool parents Lucy and Pat Mahony saved their 18-month-old son Ollie from serious scars for life after he pulled a cup of coffee onto himself.

Read Now
What is the best way to check a baby’s temperature?

How do I check my baby’s temperature? 🤒 What is the best way to check a baby’s temperature? There are so many different types and brands of thermometers out there. What thermometer should I buy?

We're here to answer all your questions!

Read More
Pain Relief for Kids: Your Guide to The How Much, When and Why

When our little loves are in pain, we want nothing more than to help them. This guide discusses common pain reliving medications that we can use to help alleviate their pain, as well as when and why we use them.

Read Now