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Expert Explains: COVID-19 and Your Kids

We are still hearing of the third wave of Covid-19 and children will be the most vulnerable. Is that really fear?

Many experts warn that the third wave is more likely to affect children. As Singapore has already reported Immunity can be obtained either after infection or through vaccination. Many adults are infected in both the first and second wave. The vaccination is approved for use in adults. The exact number of children affected in the second wave seemed greater than in the first. This may be due to the overall increase in numbers and the impact of the whole family.

Are any new variants more dangerous for children than for adults?

new mutation in particular B.1

.167 VariablesIt was reported to affect young children in some countries such as Singapore. However, there is no official confirmation at this stage how many children are affected by the new variant in Singapore.

The B.1.1.7 strain is 60% more lethal than the original strain, believed to be due to the improved immunity of children. They are therefore not seriously ill even after the attack of the mutant virus.

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in general Children are at risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus. Is it less than an adult? and among children Which age group is more at risk?

Children are just as susceptible as adults. However, children infected with COVID-19 They are generally asymptomatic or less severe. This may be due to a lower expression of the specific receptors that the virus binds to enter the host and also their immune system.

The U-shaped curve shows violence in children. Infants under 1 year of age and adolescents (ages 10-14) are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19. Infants may become seriously ill. Older children may develop MIS-C (multisystem inflammatory syndrome) after 2-6 weeks of being infected with COVID-19. asymptomatic or asymptomatic

Are symptoms in children different from adults?

The most common symptoms were fever (63%) and cough (34%), followed by nausea or vomiting (20%) and diarrhea (20%).

The most common clinical features similar to that of adults are fever and cough. However, the frequency is much lower in children (60-100% in adults vs 40-60% in children). Most children have mild to moderate disease, and only 4%. Only with severe symptoms. On the other hand, symptoms such as difficulty breathing, decreased oxygen levels. and sputum production is more common in adults. same as adults Gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting) are common in children and may sometimes be the only symptom of COVID-19 in children. adult

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In addition, adults have a higher chance of developing congenital disease. which will make them seriously ill with coronavirus According to US CDC estimates Rates of hospitalization due to COVID-19 It is 80 times that of adults over 85. Compared to children aged 5-17, the mortality rate for adults over 85 years is 7,900 times higher than that of children.

What should people do if they suspect their child has symptoms of Covid-19?

Children diagnosed or suspected to be infected with COVID-19 and mild symptoms such as fever, cough and bronchitis should generally be managed at home. unless they have underlying health problems such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, muscular dystrophy and refractory epilepsy. These may increase your risk of serious disease. Home management focuses on preventing transmission to others (eg isolation), monitoring for worsening clinical symptoms. and palliative care Treatment in mild cases is symptomatic.

Children at home should be monitored for the development of serious COVID illnesses. Manifestations include:

* Difficulty breathing, growling, unable to breastfeed.

* Chest pain or pressure (teenager)

* Your lips or face turn blue

* Cold, moist, alkaline skin, greatly reduced urination.

* new onset confusion Difficulty in awakening

In addition, there should be regular communication with the doctor.

* Isolation period: For symptomatic patients: 10 days after onset of symptoms, plus at least 3 days without symptoms. For asymptomatic cases 10 days after testing positive

If a child is infected with COVID Do I have to be isolated if my parents are vaccinated And if not injected?

If the child has a positive test and the parents are negative Parents can continue to take care of the child. However, while caring for the child Parents should:

* Use the right mask

* Wear PPE, including gloves.

* Avoid leaving the child with her grandparents.

Families should not rush back into the pre-epidemic period. Even though both parents are fully vaccinated

Can a pregnant woman pass SARS-CoV-2 to her unborn child?

There is currently not enough evidence to determine whether the virus is transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy. or the effects it may have on the baby Currently under review

Pregnant women should continue to observe appropriate precautions. And seek medical attention if you have symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

What do parents with very small children who cannot stay away from them if infected with the virus?

If you are infected with COVID-19 You will not be able to hug or hold the child in any way. without putting them at risk. Younger children may find this very difficult to adjust. Even if you use the same area You can come up with creative communication methods. Just to liven up the atmosphere Maybe you can talk on the phone. (Let your child use the device you’re not using), make video calls, or email each other. If you have an unshared device Have family members or friends talk to them regularly over the phone.

According to the CDC, anyone in a home over 2 years old can remove their mask on their own, and anyone with breathing problems should wear a mask at all times if someone has COVID-19 at home. Surfaces should be disinfected often. Keep a distance of at least six feet between you and your child.

Is it safe for mothers who are infected with COVID to breastfeed their babies?

Currently, there is not enough information to draw conclusions about the spread of COVID-19. Through breastfeeding, in infants, the risk of infection is low. And the infection is usually mild or asymptomatic. While the consequences of not breastfeeding and separation between mother and child may be significant at this point, COVID-19 appears. In infants and children, the threat to survival and health is much lower. compared to other infections Breastfeeding can be prevented.

Based on the available evidence, WHO recommendations on the initiation and continued breastfeeding of infants and young children also apply to mothers suspected of being infected or confirmed to have been infected with coronavirus. -19

when the school closes What should parents do (or not do) to keep their children mentally healthy?

during the pandemic Psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings, inattention and insomnia are common (79.4%, according to a recent meta-analysis of 15 studies in 10 countries describing 22,996 children/adolescents. ) among children detained in multiple studies Children with pre-existing behavioral problems such as autism and ADHD There is a high chance that the behavioral symptoms will worsen.

Parents and young children

* Parents should devote time to providing younger children with undivided positive attention and confidence.

* Children must be informed of facts about COVID-19. With the help of presentations and video materials provided by authorized organizations such as the WHO and UNICEF, or government resources made especially for children.

* Children’s exposure to information should be limited. and should be fact-based content.

* Make an effort to get the child to follow a consistent routine. with enough opportunities to play, read, rest and do physical activities

parents and teenagers

* This is the best time for parents to model their most important life skills, such as coping with stress. dealing with emotions and problem solving with children

* Teenagers are expected to have better knowledge of COVID-19 compared to young children, so communication must be open and non-guiding.

* This is an opportunity for older children to learn responsibility. participation and working together They can learn skills such as cooking, managing money, first aid, organizing rooms and participating in household chores.

* Excessive Internet use related to COVID-19 should be avoided. because it will result in anxiety in the same way Social media or internet gaming should be overused and irresponsible.

* Creative pursuits such as art, music, dance, etc. can help manage mental health.

* Adolescence is a period of enthusiasm and adventure. So some people may try not to follow the guidelines. This must be resolved for sure.

* Parents are encouraged to take care of their own mental health needs.

Can COVID-19 cause developmental delays in children?

In a meta-analysis of 9,335 children (0 to 19 years) from 31 countries with recorded SARS-CoV-2 disease. Neurological symptoms have been reported in 12% of children. This is common in those who develop MIS-C. Only 2% of children have life-threatening neurological symptoms such as cerebral palsy. cerebrovascular disease Central nervous system infections, etc.

The problems faced by children with special needs are diverse. including a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, limited access to healthcare facilities. Limited ability to implement preventive measures with increased need for rehabilitation due to interruption of learning.

The concerns of these children and their caregivers should be addressed with appropriate guidelines to achieve comprehensive healthcare goals against the global pandemic. Children with chronic neurodevelopmental disorders are at risk.

Parents should delay other vaccinations. For children who are sick or have recently recovered from COVID-19?

Routine vaccinations can be continued for two weeks after the child has no symptoms. (from coronavirus infection) if the child requires a higher dose, such as a high-dose steroid which suppresses the patient’s immune system Vaccination must be postponed for three months after stopping the medication.

What should parents do to protect babies and young children who cannot wear masks?

The Indian Institute of Pediatrics recommends that all children over 2 years old must wear a mask. If you decide to use a visor should cover the whole face It wraps around the sides of the face and extends to under the chin. Care should be taken while wearing it to avoid injuries that may damage the eyes or face.

You should not use masks on children under 2 years of age. Avoid unnecessary contact in public. Keep yourself, your baby and siblings at least 6 feet away from other people if you can’t leave your baby or young child at home. and had to go out

* If you have to take your baby out in public Cover the baby carrier (not the baby) with a blanket.

* Don’t leave your child alone forever.

* keep your hands clean Always remember to wash your hands. (and your brothers’ hands) as soon as you get home

* Use a disinfectant wipe or spray several times a day to clean frequently touched home surfaces.

* Teach older children to avoid touching their faces.


Dr Sheffali Gulati, who has two decades of experience as the AIIMS Department of Paediatrics faculty, specializes in pediatric neurology and neurodevelopmental disorders. She has more than 200 publications in international journals. has served as a member of the ICMR Working Group; and served as an expert in developing the National Epilepsy Control Program.

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