The ongoing Covid-19 surge is taking a toll on children’s health with several hospitals reporting a sharp rise in the number of children between the age of one and five landing up in hospitals. Unlike last year, the virus is affecting infants, with some as young as one-and-a-half months old getting admitted to hospital . 2021, unlike 2020 is different for kids. In 2020, most children were asymptomatic and were rarely affected. But due to the high infectivity and simultaneous 3-4 strains in the country, a lot of children are getting infected. The virus has a higher attaching capability and children are also reporting symptoms.
In what should worry Indian parents the most, an increasing number of children are now being infected with Covid-19 along with serious symptoms in the ongoing lethal second wave.
As the coronavirus situation in India has turned grim with the country’s daily count crossing the 3 lakh mark, calling the situation ‘very dangerous’, pediatricians have asserted that the virus is taking a toll on the newborn and the youth.
Several Indian children are testing positive for Covid-19 infection the country grapples with escalating virus cases in the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Doctors across the country have confirmed that even newborns and infants are testing Covid-19 positive, though their condition remains under control and rarely turns fatal. However, children between 5-12 years are at a greater risk. In some hospitals, mothers have to accompany their children who are showing severe symptoms
Last year, across the world, around 11 per cent affected were children. But this year, globally, we are witnessing almost 20-40 per cent of children among positive cases
Need to follow Covid appropriate behavior
· Families are not as cautious anymore. Lack of Covid-appropriate behavior at home, esp. by those coming from outside, is one reason for the surge. Earlier, the interaction was restricted. Social distancing, handwashing a must for all including visitors and relatives to your homes
- Its Important not to expose children to vulnerable areas.
- Do not ignore symptoms that are gastrointestinal, rash, conjunctivitis, vasculitis among your children
- No study yet shows that breast milk of a positive mother may spread the virus to the child. So, mothers can feed, but wear a mask at all times. Also, physical distance must be maintained from the child as much as possible, when not feeding
- While vaccines for kids are still under trial and may take months before it can be tested and proved beneficial for kids, the only remedy is to wear masks, maintain hand hygiene and social distancing
- Start treating the child for fever with antiviratic like crocin or paracetamol and if the fever continues for more than two days then getting the child tested is a must
- Have a well-balanced diet with vitamins and minerals which are present in fruits and vegetables.
- Plenty of hydration is recommended
- Need is to encourage the child to have a well-balanced routine to keep them mentally and physically fit.
Article is prepared by Dr. Durga Prasad, MBBS, DNB (Pediatrics), Medical director, Ankura Hospital for women and children