Kids under 5 have can have high levels of coronavirus in their noses

Children are less likely to get or spread coronavirus, but they are not immune.

kids under 5 coronavirus

We've now spent almost half a year living under the threat of the coronavirus. So much has happened since the CDC's assured parents that "based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults."

The latest science reinforces that but also suggests that young kids may be able to spread COVID-19 as easily as adults, even if they aren't that sick.

"Children are less likely to get coronavirus, spread coronavirus and have complications from coronavirus. But that doesn't mean they can't get it, can't spread it or don't have complications," ER doctor John Torres, Medical Correspondent for NBC News & MSNBC tells Motherly. "So safety measures need to be put in place."

Here's what you need to know about the latest science on kids and coronavirus:

Children under 5 carry high levels of coronavirus in their noses

kids under 5 can have high levels of covid-19

WHO clarifies stance on the asymptomatic spread of coronavirus

Morsa Images/Getty

A new study recently published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, found kids under the age of 5 can have just as much of the coronavirus in their noses as older children and adults, even if they only have mild or moderate symptoms of the illness.

"We found that children under 5 with COVID-19 have a higher viral load than older children and adults, which may suggest greater transmission, as we see with respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV," says the study's lead author, Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent.

A pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Lurie Children's and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Heald-Sargent says this research is important to the ongoing discussion about school openings.

"We need to take that into account in efforts to reduce transmission as we continue to learn more about this virus."

Experts say more research needs to be done and that parents need to take steps to reduce the possibility of transmission (like reinforcing hand hygiene, maintaining social distancing, and having children over the age of 2 wear masks in public, especially indoors or where distancing cannot be maintained).

The hospital where Heald-Sargent's study took place tested everyone admitted for COVID-19, which showed that some kids were asymptomatic.

"We were catching kids who came in with a broken arm who happened to test positive," Heald-Sargent told NBC News.

COVID in kids is rare and researchers are working hard to protect our babies

child and coronavirusNew study: Children are only half as likely to get infected by the coronavirus

While research shows babies and preschoolers can become severely ill if they get COVID-19, data also shows how rare these cases are.

Back in March, the journal Pediatrics posted a pre-publication study suggesting babies and preschoolers could become severely ill if they get COVID-19, but scientists were quick to point out that while "there are subpopulations of children with an increased risk for more significant illness," including those with immunocompromising conditions, "children are less likely to become severely ill than older adults."

A more recent study published in the journal Nature Medicine this summer found children are only half as likely to get the coronavirus compared to adults. That study found kids are 35 to 60% less susceptible to coronavirus than adults are.

While children (especially those with compromised immune systems) can get sick, fatal cases in kids are very uncommon, according to the latest U.S. Centers for Disease Control data,

[A version of this post was originally published March 20, 2020. It has been updated.]

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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9 products that will help baby sleep better (and longer!)

For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

How do I get my baby to sleep? This is one of the most commonly asked questions among new parents, and it makes sense, given that babies are born with their days and nights mixed up. For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

And while that might not exist (yet), we have found some of the best products out there that can help baby fall asleep faster and for longer durations. Because when baby is sleeping, so are you!

Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack and swaddle

Designed by a mama, parents swear by this weighted sleep sack. It mimics your hug to give your baby security and comfort that helps them get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. The detachable swaddle wing makes it easy to transition as they grow.

It's also super easy to get on and off, and includes a bottom-up zipper for late night changes, so you don't have to wake your baby in the process.


Yogasleep Hushh portable sound machine

Yogasleep hushh sound machine

With three soothing options, this is a perfect solution to help your baby settle when naps are on the go and during travel! I love how compact this noise machine is and that it can run all night with one charge.


Bebe au Lait muslin crib sheets

Burt's Bees Organic Crib Sheets

With a variety of print options to choose from, these breathable sheets are *so* soft and smooth, even through multiple washes. The luxury fabric keeps little ones warm without overheating—a formula that helps ensure more sleep for everyone.


The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

You know what's going to help baby have their best sleep ever? Some quality, super soft pajamas. The timeless (and aptly named!) Perfect Pajama from The Simple Folk are some of our favorites. They last forever and they're made from organic pima cotton that is safe on baby's precious skin. They come in a wide range of sizes so siblings can match and feature fold-over hand covers on sizes up to 12 months.


The Snoo bassinet


Designed by expert pediatrician and sleep guru Dr. Harvey Karp, the Snoo bassinet gently rocks your baby to sleep while snuggled up in the built-in swaddle. Not only does it come with sensors that adjust the white noise and movement based on your baby's needs, there is also an app that allows you to adjust the settings directly from your phone.

While this item is a bit on the expensive side, there is now an option to rent for $3.50 a day, which is a total game changer!


Hatch Baby Rest sound machine + nightlight

best baby sound machine

The Hatch Baby Rest is a dual sound machine and nightlight that will grow with your family. Many parents use this product with their infants as a white-noise machine and then as a "time to rise" solution for toddlers.

The thing I love most about this product is that the light it gives off isn't too bright, and you can even select different color preferences; giving your toddler choices at bedtime.


Crane humidifier

Crane Humidifier

The only thing worse than a sick baby is a baby who is sick and not sleeping well. The Crane humidifier helps take care of this by relieving congestion and helping your baby breathe better while sleeping.

Personally, I think the adorable design options alone are enough of a reason to purchase this product, and your child will love watching steam come out of the elephant's trunk!


Naturepedic organic crib mattress

Naturpedic Lightweight Organic Mattress

In the first few months of life, babies can spend up to 17 hours a day sleeping, so choosing a mattress that is safe (read: no chemicals!) and comfortable is incredibly important.

Naturepedic uses allergen-friendly and waterproof materials with babies and children in mind, making them easy to clean and giving you peace of mind.


Happiest Baby sleepea 5-second swaddle

best baby swaddle

There are baby swaddles and then there is Sleepea. Similar to the brand's swaddle that is built into the Snoo, the Sleepea is magic for multiple reasons. First, it's got mesh panels ensuring baby never overheats. Second, the zipper zips from the top or the bottom, so you can change the baby's diaper in the middle of the night without ever waking them. Third, it's hip safe. Fourth, the patterns are SO cute. And fifth, the interior swaddle wrap that keeps baby's ams down has a "quiet" velcro that won't wake baby if you need to readjust while they're asleep.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

Bethany Menzel: Instagram + Blog

As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

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