With the second wave of pandemic impacting children severely and third wave in the pipeline, Motherhood Hospital at Bangalore have warned parents on the rising infections in the city. Considering the number of cases being reported among children of age group 0-16 years, parents must be overly cautious in protecting their children and not letting the guard down. More children are testing positive and require hospitalisation in the second wave of the pandemic, as the different variants and double mutants are highly contagious which is causing the surge in corona cases among children said Dr. Santosh Kumar, Consultant Neonatologist & Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospitals, Bangalore.
Since the new-born babies are vulnerable, exclusive breast feeding is highly recommended to minimise the risks and build baby’s immunity. It is also advisable for parents to strictly follow the vaccination schedule of their babies and not to miss any of the doses, as this will shield the baby from infections and therefore a very crucial element in preventing the covid infection.
Unlike last year, second wave is seeing a huge spike in infection in children. The common symptoms seen are spike in fever, gastroenteritis symptoms, respiratory issues. Most of the parents are not maintaining covid appropriate behaviour and then once they develop symptoms the infection is passed on to the kids. These children are asymptomatic, and carriers of infection and they may intrun infect their grandparents at home. Since there is no vaccination yet for children in the age group of 0 – 10 years, they are exposed and more susceptible to catching infection said Dr. Santosh.
Therefore, prevention of infection must be the top priority, below are some tips that can protect kids from the deadly coronavirus.
· Follow hand hygeine, washing hands and frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, as this kills the virus present in the hands.
· While sneezing and coughing, cover mouth and nose with handkerchief or tissue. After using, discard the tissue into a bin and wash the hands properly. Do not use the same tissue again and again.
· Follow social distancing of atleast 6 feet while talking to another.
· Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with your contaminated hands, if you touch frequently, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.
· If the kid is suffering from high fever, cough and have difficulty in breathing, consult the doctor immediately and share all the symptoms in detail with doctor as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition.
· One should never miss the scheduled immunization vaccines for the children. If there is any delay, one must get the pending doses at the earliest in consultation with the doctor.
· Healthy gut helps build immunity in children. Food like yogurt is rich in probiotics that help in keeping the gut healthy. Encourage remaining active and maintain personal hygiene.
· Avoid Consumption of raw or undercooked animal products.
· Avoid going to a crowded place and parents must wear double mask that offers better protection against variants & double mutants.
“Following Covid appropriate behaviour and religiously sticking to the precautions can eliminate chances of infection among kids. In case of any covid like symptoms, it is advisable for parents to consult an experienced paediatrician without any delay and must avoid self-medication, added Dr Santosh.