COVID 19 and Kids

Dr Yashoradha Raje
India is currently witnessing the 2ndCOVID 19 infection surge with many children coming down with
this infection.
Kids are no longer spared and as young as 5 years old are severely affected this time. There is an alarming rise in pediatric patients in the hospitals across thecountry. With this wave seeing more cases in children as compared to previous year. Here are some important tips to prevent the infection in children .
First of all, why it’s happening?
* Lack of caution among family members/households.
* Transmission from family members.
* New mutant strain which is still not clear.
* Increased exposure to vulnerable areas.
* No vaccine yet available for children.
Preventing COVID infection in Children
As it is always said that prevention is better than cure. So one should always focus on preventing the spread of disease especially when it comes to children. Here are some precautions which can be taken to prevent COVID 19 infection in children.
* Normal SOP’s like washing hands regularly,wearing masks,sanitization. Be and avoiding crowded places.
* Working parents should also adhere to these protocols at office and home .
* Avoiding small parties and large group activities atyour ownhouse and others too.
* Monitoring of activities of children at home and outside home settings.
* Keep distance during playing and interacting.
* Picnic/travels should be discouraged.
* Not frequently visiting the markets and malls with children unless necessary.
* The rooms should be well ventilated. Air conditioners should be avoided .Even if had to use they should be serviced regularly.
* Children with co-morbidities and special care needs should be extra taken care of and monitored properly at home.Their treatments and consultations with health care providers should not be abandoned but should be carried on throughtelemedicine unless they require some emergency treatment.
Keeping kids Healthy
* Hand hygiene implementation and monitoring before eating.
* Limit snacking throughout the day.
* A healthy eating schedule should be followed.
* Healthy eating habits and routine promote a healthy weight and a healthier childhood.
* Sugar-containing treats should only be given in moderation.
* Make sure to brush your child’s teeth at least 2 times a day.
* Doing some physical activity everyday like various exercises and yoga asanas.
* Keeping in touch with your pediatrician in case of anyassistance.
* One more note about keeping kids healthy right now: – we all like snacks and comfort foods thesedays but it is time to turn attention back to good food choices.
What symptoms to look for?
Children’s immune system is not much developed , they are more vulnerable to infections. So don’t panic butremain cautious of the following symptoms and monitor your child.
* Fever and cough
* Diarrhoea
* Vomiting
* Rashes
* Conjunctivitis and eye infection.
* Vasculitis etc.
What to do?
* Seek medical attention as soon as possible . Contact your nearest pediatrician or health care provider.
* Don’t get panic.
* Do not self medicate.
What to do if child is positive?
In case your child has been found positive for the COVID 19 infection, contact your doctor for treatment and follow some basic tips at home .
* Infected children need isolation.
* They should be wearing mask all the times . Children younger than 2 years should not wear masks. Do not put a face shield or mask on your baby.
* To be taken care extremely seriously, they can be emotionally exhausted.
* Maintaining distance and following all the social distancing and isolation protocols while taking care of your child as they can transmit the infection to other family members .
* Good diet and nutrition required .
Vaccination in Kids.
As far COVID 19 is concerned, there is not any vaccination for kids yet available, but the routinevaccinationsshould not be abondoned. Parentsare afraid of taking kids for Vaccinations. The parents should get their children routinely vaccinated in time and take help from the designated centres in doing so as well.
Parenting and COVID 19
The COVID 19 pandemic is a challenging time for children, parents and caregivers. Working from home , school closures, notbeing able to see the friends and families as often, financial insecurity has made it harder to give the love and care to children they need .In these tough and anxious times ,the emotional well being of children and parents is as important as their medical health.