By Hemang Palan
Third Coronavirus wave can see an exponential rise in children getting infected with the infections. According to the doctors, the first wave of Covid 19 virus attacked the elderly population, in the second wave more youth are affected and the third wave can be very dangerous for children unfortunately.
In an interaction with Hemang Palan, Bhandup-based and Mumbai’s leading Pediatrician, DR ANIL JAGIASI communicated about much anticipated Covid surge amongst the young ones.
* What is your advice to parents in order to control Covid infections amongst kids?
During this challenging phase of Covid, I urge parents to focus on physical health as well as emotional needs of their kids as mostly they are confined to the four walls of their homes now-a-days.
The best preventive vaccine for children above 2 years of age is a MASK. Usage of a good quality mask, preferably a disposable surgical mask will go a long way in preventing the spread of Covid 19 virus amongst kids. Also, parents should teach their children the importance of hand hygiene and social distancing.
Parents should also take utmost care of their kids’ diet too. It should be nutritious. This involves adequate intake of proteins, vitamins and minerals every day. Junk food and refined sugar should be avoided by the kids at any cost. Note that diabetes and obesity are two major risk factors that worsen Covid related complications amongst infected kids. Physical exercise for kids on a daily basis is absolutely essential.
And, I would urge young mothers to breast-feed their babies for at least 6 months. Even a Covid infected mother should continue the breast feeding provided milk-output is good, and mother is physically strong and capable to breastfeed her child.
Lastly, it is also very important to complete the routine immunization of children.
* What kind of symptoms Covid infected kids exhibit usually?
Fortunately, a vast majority of Covid infected kids are either asymptomatic or face a mild course of illness. Common symptoms are fever, cough, cold, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, etc. However red flag symptoms which should immediately alert parents to seek emergency medical help include: very high grade fever, difficulty in breathing, persistent vomiting or loose stools, lethargy, excessive irritability, severe skin rash and redness of eyes (especially if associated with fever that lasts for more than three days).
* To cure mild Covid infections, what kind of treatment is given to kids at home?
Primarily in such cases, the treatment at home involves monitoring of the child's temperature at regular intervals. However, monitoring oxygen saturation of infants and young kids is difficult at times. Parents must ensure that a Covid infected kid gets adequate rest and nutritious food. Also, parents should administer appropriate doses of Paracetamol as prescribed by the doctor to a Covid infected kid for controlling his/her fever.
Pediatric advice is a must in such cases. And grandparents should be kept in isolation, separated and away from the Covid infected kids.
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