Scientists have analyzed the health records of millions of adults, comparing the risks of COVID in people living with and without children

Children do not increase risks of COVID for adults they live with – ending one of fears of keeping schools open, new research finds

Analysis of the health records of nine million working-age adults shows that people living with children of secondary school age had a slightly increased 8% risk of becoming infected with the virus

But they were no more likely than adults without children to be admitted to hospital or to die

Adults living with children of primary school age were not even more likely to be infected, according to OpenSAFELY researchers studying electronic records of general practitioners in England

Professor Liam Smeeth, one of the researchers and clinical epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “If we can keep schools open, that’s a really important thing for this generation of young people. But we have to look at the possible risks

“The take-home message is that there is no evidence of the harmful effects of living with school-aged children”

The researchers also looked at the health records of two million adults over the age of 65 living in households with children. Again, there was no evidence of an increased risk – regardless of the ‘children’s age

“Children and adolescents can spread the virus more widely in the community, which we could not study We also did not examine the safety of staff at school”

The researchers initially speculated that adults with children might be protected to some extent because their immune systems had some memory for related coronaviruses that cause colds

Dr David McAllister, a public health specialist at the University of Glasgow, studied the risks of COVID in the households of health workers

He said: “Sharing a household with school-aged children does not put the adults they live with more at risk

“This observation has crucial implications as societies seek to minimize the harms of COVID-19, while minimizing the indirect harms caused by preventive measures, especially when these harms affect children”

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World News – UK – Coronavirus: Children do not increase risk for adults they live with, new research finds