More kids are testing positive for the novel coronavirus in the second wave, unlike the summer of 2020 – when the pandemic first began. Initially, kids were either less or near-zero symptomatic, even if they were carriers. But that's not the case now.
What has changed? What are the symptoms experienced by the kids? FIT spoke to Dr Nihar Parekh, Pediatrician, Cheers Child Care, Mumbai to talk about how the wave is affecting children. Here's what you need to know.
What are some symptoms experienced by kids?
- High fever (lasting 2-3 days)
- Body ache
- Soar throat
- Red eyes
- Loose motion
“We are getting a lot more children now across all age groups. The youngest child who has Covid-19 is six weeks old. The number was insignificant last year but it has increased exponentially this time. The families of most of the younger ones are also positive. Even teenagers are getting infected, and, in that case, only one or two family members are affected,” Dr Rahul Nagpal, Director, Pediatric and Neonatology at Fortis Hospital Vasant Kunj added.
Should I get my child tested if they show such symptoms?
Ideally, yes. While these symptoms are that of typical viral infections, they can also be COVID-19. Therefore, Dr Parekh warns parents against underestimating these symptoms and dismissing them.
Does this mean children can catch severe coronavirus infection?
“This entire picture of a pan-systemic virus is typical of COVID, but the good news is that they (kids) are responding to treatment, and regular medication," Dr Parekh said.
While children recover faster, he talks about how the symptoms haven't been escalating to give rise to other complications in children – unlike in the case of adults.
What should I do if my child has fever?
- Keep them isolated, give them fever medication for two days after consulting with doctor
- If the fever crosses over in 48 hours, get blood works done so that the extent of the infection can be determined
Who should be the caregiver?
- Only one of the parents should be the caregiver
- They should be less than 45 years of age or one who has already been vaccinated
- Make sure the caregiver wears masks at all times
- Do not linger around in their room
What preventive steps can be taken?
Dr Parekh emphasises on the importance of precaution and prevention in the next few days when we are said to hit the peak of the second wave.
“Keep them indoors for the next 10 days, stop all gathering, keep them safe. The second wave is peaking and it's only a question of a couple of weeks. Let's be extra extra cautious,” he added.
(This was first published on FIT and has been republished with permission.)