Kids Returning to Sports After COVID-19

If your child has a positive COVID-19 test, notify their pediatrician. The doctor can advise how long they need to wait before returning to exercise or sports. This will be based on how severe their COVID-19 symptoms are, and whether they develop signs of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), myocarditis (inflamed heart muscle), or other post-COVID conditions:

  • Children and teens with no symptoms or mild symptoms of COVID-19, and no symptoms of MIS-C need to be screened with questions about specific heart symptoms. A child with a positive heart screening will need an EKG and referral to a pediatric cardiologist for possible additional cardiac tests.
  • Those with moderate symptoms and no signs of MIS-C should not exercise until their symptoms are gone and they are seen by their doctor for a cardiac screening, complete physical exam and EKG. Moderate symptoms are considered to be 4 or more days of fever over 100.4 F, a week or more of muscle aches, chills or fatigue, or a non-ICU hospital stay.
  • Children who were very sick from COVID-19 or diagnosed with MIS-C must be treated as though they have an inflamed heart muscle (myocarditis). They should not exercise or compete for 3 to 6 months. A pediatric cardiologist should examine these children before they are allowed to return to exercise or competition, with a schedule of gradually increasing activity.

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