Should we be concerned about Children's health in the third wave of COVID-19 in INDIA?

Children Vaccination in Whitefield

As a paediatrician, we are seeing infants and children of all ages with COVID-19 symptoms as we deal with the third wave of COVID-19 in India.

Fever is the most prevalent symptom in both babies and children. A common observation is that fever is high grade and remittent in nature, which indicates that even though the temperature rises and falls, it may not reach the baseline temperature during the first few days after the onset of symptoms. To keep the temperature under control, many children require numerous doses of fever medicine.
Other symptoms include runny nose, throat irritation, nose congestion, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, breathing problems, gastrointestinal discomfort, febrile seizures, and flu-like symptoms.

Babies under the age of six months can be irritable, may not feed as well as they used to, and in certain circumstances, they may stop eating and become lethargic, necessitating in-hospital treatment. In almost every occurrence of COVID-19 infection in children, one or both parents tested positive. Because children cannot be left alone or isolated, caring for them becomes challenging.

Parents have a lot of questions about how to care for their children, especially little infants under the age of six months. 

The most often asked questions are: 

1) Is it a life-threatening situation? Should we take the youngster to the hospital?
2) Is there a specific treatment for covid19 in children?
3) Is it possible for me to breastfeed my child if I am also COVID positive?
4) Is it possible for babies to continue receiving immunizations on a regular basis? 

Active symptoms of COVID19 in children tend to resolve in 5 to 7 days, with the majority of cases resolving in 14 days, according to my observations and accessible medical literature. Although some symptoms, such as a cough, reduced appetite, may last longer than usual. 

Fortunately, the majority of the children have minor symptoms and can be treated on an outpatient basis. Children with prolonged COVID-19 symptoms, wheezing and breathing problems, febrile seizure, and repeated vomiting with poor oral intake are frequently admitted to the hospital.
For fever, cold cough, and gastrointestinal disturbance, the majority of the youngsters are given symptomatic medicines. There is currently no antiviral medication that has been approved for outpatient treatment in children. Antibiotics may be required for some children with severe respiratory problems.

Even if a mother tests positive for COVID-19, we encourage her to breastfeed her infant. There has been no evidence of a virus being secreted in breast milk up to this point. But we do ask the mother to wash her hands with soap and water or sanitise with alcohol-based sanitiser and to wear a clean gown and medical mask to avoid transmission of viruses through respiratory droplets. Isolated very sick mothers can express breast milk collected with proper hygiene, which can then be fed to the child by another family member. 

Vaccination for children should continue as usual throughout the pandemic, but if the kid has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, vaccination can be deferred until the quarantine period is finished or the symptoms have resolved, according to the Indian Academy of Pediatrics. There is no need to resume the vaccine regimen if certain vaccinations are missed due to a pandemic. Instead, it can be picked up where it left off.

Although uncommon, children may present with severe COVID-19 illnesses like pneumonia, Prolong COVID-19 disease, Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), and neurological complications for which they may need hospitalisation and critical care support.

We advise parents not to panic but to consult their paediatrician and stay informed for proper care of the child.

Manipal Hospital is one of the best paediatric or child speciality hospitals in Bangalore, having a top paediatrician in Whitefield. Consult today with our experts for Children vaccination in Whitefield.

 

Dr. Md. Nawad Azam

Specialist - Paediatrics & Child Care

Manipal Hospital, Whitefield, Bangalore

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