MIS-C Fact Sheet for Parents
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C, is a condition where different body parts like the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs, can become inflamed. We do not know what causes MIS-C, but we do know that many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19 or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious and even deadly, however, most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.
What Are the Symptoms of MIS-C?
Symptoms of MIS-C include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, and feeling extra tired. It is important to remember that not all children will have the same symptoms.
If you think your child has any symptoms of MIS-C, contact your child's doctor immediately. Get emergency care right away if your child is showing any of the emergency warning signs of MIS-C such as, having trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face, or severe abdominal pain.
How Will Doctors Care for Your Child?
Doctors may do certain tests to look for inflammation or other signs of disease. These tests might include:
- Blood tests
- Chest x-ray
- Heart ultrasound (echocardiogram)
- Abdominal ultrasound
Doctors may provide supportive care for symptoms (medicine and/or fluids to make your child feel better) and may use various medicines to treat inflammation. Most children who become ill with MIS-C will need to be treated in the hospital. Some will need to be treated in the pediatric intensive care unit (ICU).
Parents or caregivers who have concerns about their child's health, including concerns about COVID-19 or MIS-C, should call a pediatrician or other healthcare provider immediately.
How Can I Prevent My Child from Getting MIS-C?
There is still a lot we do not know about MIS-C and how it affects children, so we do not know why some children have gotten sick with MIS-C and others have not. Based on the available clinical information that we have and what we know about MIS-C, the best way you can protect your child is by taking everyday actions to protect against COVID-19.
- Clean your hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
- Avoid people who are sick;
- Maintain a safe distance between your children and other people outside of your home;
- Wear a mask when you are out in public—it is recommended that children 2 years old and older wear a mask;
- Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily; and
- Limit time with other children and people at highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Resources for More Information
For more information on wearing or making a mask, visit: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Stop-the-Spread.aspx
For more information on COVID-19, visit the Department of Health's website, www.health.pa.gov, or the CDC's website.
Help is available, contact the Crisis Text Line by texting PA to 741-741
Date created: 5/27/2020