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6 Tips for protecting your child against the coronavirus by expert paediatrician

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Children can also become ill with COVID-19, although most infected kids do not become as sick as adults, and some might not show any symptoms at all. Parents generally asked questions like “What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 in babies and children?” “How do I know if my child has COVID-19?” and “What can we do to prevent the spread of the COVID?” Before discussing these issues and tips on how you can protect your child from coronavirus, let us find out how COVID-19 affects children and how COVID-19 reacts differently to children and adults.

 Why do children react differently to COVID-19?

 Paediatricians suggest that children might not be as severely affected by COVID-19 because other viruses spread in the community cause diseases like a common cold or flu. Since children often get cold, their immune systems might provide them with some protection against COVID-19. It’s also possible that children’s immune systems contact the coronavirus differently than adults’ immune systems. Some adults are getting sick because their immune systems overreact to the virus, causing more damage to their bodies. Whereas, in children, it may be less likely to happen.

 How does COVID-19 affect children?

Children, including very young babies and toddlers, can develop COVID-19 with no symptoms or milder symptoms such as low-grade fever, cough, and fatigue. Kids with underlying health conditions may be at higher risk for severe illness.

 A potentially severe complication can occur in children called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), which leads to critical problems with the heart and other organs in the body. 

Symptoms of MIS-C can include:

 Signs and symptoms of  COVID-19 in children

Adults and children experience similar symptoms of COVID-19, even so, children’s symptoms tend to be mild and flu-like. Most children recover from COVID-19 within one to two weeks. Possible symptoms can include:

  •     Fever or chills
  •     Cough
  •     Sore throat
  •     Diarrhoea
  •     Fatigue
  •     Nasal congestion or runny nose
  •     Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  •     New loss of taste or smell
  •     Headache
  •     Muscle aches or body aches
  •     Nausea or vomiting
  •     Poor appetite
  •     Tummy pain

If you find that your child is showing symptoms of COVID-19 and he or she might have COVID-19 infection, seek medical help from your paediatrician. Keep your child at home and follow all the COVID-19 guidelines provided by WHO.

Tips for protecting your child against the coronavirus

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Wash hands

 Ask your child to wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, and to encourage them you too do the same. If water and soap are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol. Teach them how to use a hand sanitizer properly and if your child is below 6 years of age, supervise them when they use a hand sanitizer.

 Wear a cotton mask

 Make sure whenever your child (2 years of age or older) is in public and when around people who do not live in your house, he or she should wear a cotton mask. Ensure your child wears their cotton masks correctly and safely.

 Cover sneezes and coughs

Ask your child to use a tissue to cover the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing, throw the tissue in a dustbin and wash hands.

 Avoid close contact

Teach your child to keep a distance of at least 6 feet from other people who do not live with them and avoid people who are sick (such as sneezing or coughing).

 Help your child to stay active.

Regular physical activity can improve your child’s mental and physical health. Engage your child in different activities throughout the day.

Help your child to manage stress.

The COVID-19 pandemic can be stressful for both children and adults. Children sometimes can not express their stress; try to talk to your child and play with them. If they face any issues related to study, friends or any other thing try to solve them.

Final thoughts

Understanding and following WHO guidelines to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus can be difficult for kids. Stay patient and handle them with love.

For more information or if you need any help, you can book an appointment with our consultants, or you can reach us at +91 124 4882248.

FAQs

Ques: How can I keep my child safe if they are going to school during COVID-19?

Ans: If your child is going to school during COVID-19, try to include the following habits to keep your child safe;

  •     Keep a check on your child’s health daily.
  •     Teach them good hygiene practices like washing hands with soap and water and proper use of a hand sanitizer.
  •     Ensure that your child drinks clean and boiled water.
  •     Teach your child proper use of tissue during cough and sneeze.
  •     If your child has the flu, avoid sending him to school.

 Ques: How should children wear a mask during COVID19?

Ans: Children more than 2 years old should follow the same guidelines provided by WHO for wearing masks. This includes few steps,

  •     Cleaning hands with soap and water or a hand sanitizer before putting on the mask.
  •     Masks should be of the right size that covers the nose to the chin.
  •     Teach your child how to wear the mask correctly, like not touching the mask and not removing it under the chin or into their mouth.

 Ques: What is the COVID-19 incubation period for children?

Ans: The incubation period for children and adults is the same, suggested by WHO. Generally, COVID-19 symptoms start around 5 to 6 days and range from 1 to 14 days.

Ques: What are the psychological effects of COVID-19 on children?

 Ans: Research shows the impact of quarantine, social isolation, and the pandemic on children as a behavioural health concern. Young children are facing issues related to mental health also. If you notice any behavioural changes in your kids, talk to their paediatrician, it will be helpful for your kid’s overall health.