After double mutation of Covid-19 strain, as we know schools are still open in many states, people showed their concern for kids on getting Covid exposure.
Here are some questions asked about Covid and its impact on kids, answered :
Questions about the new COVID strain’s impact
The second wave of coronavirus is causing a surge in cases.
Most particularly, the B.1.1.7 and India’s B.1..617 variant are said to be quite scary for the kids too-who have been largely spared during the pandemic, as lockdown was imposed in school/colleges all around the world, but now, As schools around India and the world open up, there have been increasing reports of children contracting the virus, which have further pushed for repeat closures.
Do kids face a high risk of catching COVID-19?
As of now , we know that kids have a lower risk of infection. The risk of comorbidities is also on the lower side. But due to second wave of corona, there has been rise in symptomatic infections in kids.
Are kids too prone to severe illnesses and long COVID risk? Could they pass on the infection onto adults now?
Why is the second strain more concerning than the first one for kids?
The second wave of coronavirus has changed the way the virus could impact kids. Until recently, it was largely suspected that kids were not majorly implicated by the risks of COVID. There were only a few documented cases worldwide, and most cases were asymptomatic.
As virus mutate, it undergoes changes to its genetic code, so it becomes capable to evade immune defences of our body. The mutation in spike proteins, which the virus uses to attach itself to the body and multiply could also become more aggressive and thus, cause more infections.
The increasing number of mutant strains present also pose a certain risk and added infectivity which could easily infect kids. The newer COVID strains, such as the double mutant strain identified in India is for the same reason, also increasing the number of symptomatic cases in children below the age of 16.
Are kids of all ages at an increased risk?
COVID does not see a difference in age. Kids as young as 1 or 16 could become infected by the virus. There have also been instances wherein newborn children have tested positive for coronavirus, having caught the virus from their mothers at the time of birth.
Kids suffering from frail immunity, chronic illnesses may be more susceptible to complications associated with COVID, including MIS-C.
Can kids become super spreaders? Would they infect family members?
Kida lacking symptoms can act as silent carriers of the infection and may even pass on the infection onto adults.
At the time when the virus is increasingly spreading fast, many worry that kids could carry the virus home and infect family members, including grandparents who face a high risk of severity linked to COVID-19.
Therefore, vaccination may guarantee some a level of assurance and protection, most risks would be for the ones who would be unvaccinated.
What are the primary symptoms to watch out for?
Kids with COVID can show different symptoms than adults. However, with many of the infections related to COVID similar to other infections, parents must remain extremely careful.
Most kids who develop COVID may only get mild, minor symptoms of the disease. Even if they carry the viral load for longer, their symptoms may persist for lesser time. A mild fever, could be a classic indication of the disease.
On rarer side, some can develop gastrointestinal infection, body ache, muscle pain, runny eyes. However , they may be on the rarer side.
Skin rashes, swellings and other unusual changes are symptoms among babies and infants.
What should you do if a child tests positive?
Early diagnosis is the key to fighting the infection promptly. If you do suspect your child to display symptoms similar to coronavirus, isolate immediately and get tested. Most kids suffer from mild bouts of coronavirus and usually recover quickly, at home.
• Do not give any medicines like anti-viral drugs, steroids, antibiotics etc. without a doctor’s advice.
• Make them wear a children’s mask
• Don’t send them outside the house to play
• Avoid swimming classes
• Avoid going to shopping malls
• Immediately contact your doctor if you notice any symptoms of corona in your child.
• Do not take any test, therapy or medicine on your own without a doctor’s advice.
• Feed them homemade food. Along with this, increase the intake of fruits and vegetables more.
• Children can be given multivitamins to boost immunity.
What can keep them safe right now?
In the lack of a vaccine available right now, parents and kids must continue to practice basic preventive measures- social distancing, mask mandate and sanitation.
Big gatherings still pose a big challenge in the spread of coronavirus. Infants and young children should be kept at home.
What should you do if your child doesn’t wear masks?
Masks are one of the best ways to protect ourselves. However, younger kids can have a hard time keeping masks on, especially when they go out. Infants and toddlers can also get uncomfortable wearing masks for long periods of time.
To simplify matters in front of children and explain to them the safety protocols. The same needs to be done if you have a child who is going back to school.
For infants and toddlers, it would be best to restrict their movement, and curtail exposure in such a scenario.
What do we know about the risk of MIS-C right now ?
Multisystem-Inflammatory Syndrome is a rare complication of COVID that could strike kids after they have recovered from the virus. In many cases, it could also turn fatal.
The most common signs and symptoms include breathlessness, confusion, body pain, excruciating fatigue.
Children’s mental health is important too
While parents safeguard children’s health, mental wellness should be prioritized too.
It can be frustrating for kids to be asked to stay home again that could also be highly stress-inducing and impair their mental health. Parents should try to get more engaged with kids, explain to them the situation at hand and attend to their queries in a simple, polite manner.
It’s important to understand that vaccines would not be available for kids before 2022.
While a number of studies are showing promising results, it will take a while for vaccines to be widely available for them.
Therefore, it’s crucial that till the time we secure vaccines, we urge kids and their parents to remain cautious, and practice basic hygiene measures and protocols ourselves to safeguard health.
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