The coronavirus pandemic has rattled the world, with devastating impacts on everyone. These distressed times saw everything from job loss to supply shortages to lockdowns. Parents and children faced new and evolving sources of stress. Coronavirus, for kids, by now is probably most heard term.
Significant concerns of parents are about the physical, emotional, and mental health of children and protecting them from the virus. Everything crumbled to instability, and the previous routines were no longer attainable.
Many children with COVID experience mild cases, which are still a cause for worry for parents and families as they track potential older, vulnerable people in contact with their children. Some children experience more severe symptoms.
So how do you plan to approach this coronavirus for kids topic? What are some guidelines and restrictions imposed by the Government? What to do in case your kid the virus? This blog will tell you everything.
How to talk about the coronavirus with kids?
Your child has an ocean of questions. Make yourself available to answer their questions about the virus. Be calm and reassuring. Ensure you share accurate and appropriate information for the child’s age and maturity level.
Remember, it’s best to use simple language that children will grasp quickly. You can say COVID-19 is like extreme cold or a stomach bug making people sick. Tell them how it spreads when a sick person coughs or sneezes. Explain to them calmly how to be safe from coronavirus, kids cannot go to school and attending events for a while.
Govt guidelines for covid 19 management in kids
The Government has issued some guidelines for the parents and health care sectors, and others who frequently interact with children for covid 19 management.
- For children below 18 years of age, the govt recommends rational use of CT scan.
- Prohibits the use of remidesivir.
Different guidelines for different cases:
- Suspected contact (RAT or RTPCR harmful or not available)
- Incidentally detected (RAT or RTPCR positive)
- 6-minute walk test for children above 12 years under the supervision of parents/guardians.
- Sore throat or rhinorrhea
- Cough with no breathing difficulty
- SPO2 less than or equal to 94% on room air
- Take a 6 min walk test in children above 12 years under the supervision of parents/guardians.
- in addition to symptoms of mild cases, check for pneumonia which may not be apparen
- rapid respiration (age-based): <2months, RR>60/ min; 2-12 months, RR>50/ min; 1-5 years, RR>40/min; 5years, RR>30/min
- SPO2: 90-93%on room air
- SPO2<90% on room air
- Signs of severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, multi-organ dysfunction syndrome, or pneumonia with cyanosis, grunting, severe retraction of chest, lethargy, somnolence, seizure, assess for thrombosis, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH
What investigations are required?
Though no investigations are needed in mild and asymptomatic cases,
For moderate and severe cases:
- Baseline gap investigations: CBC, blood glucose, urine routine, LFT, KFT, CRP, S.Ferritin, D- Dimer, LDH, CPK
- Repeat investigation: CRP and D Dimer 48 – 72 hourly, CBC, KFT, LFT 24-48 hourly, IL-6 (subject to availability)
- Investigations will have to be repeated more frequently in ICU settings; serial CXR should be at least 48 hours apart.
- HRCT chest to be done only if there is worsening of symptoms
The mainstay of treatment in asymptomatic cases
- infants and younger children must stay under the immediate care of parents/guardians
- No specific medication needed
- continue medications for other conditions, if any
- following appropriate covid behavior
- ensure oral fluids to maintain hydration and a nutritious diet
- caregiver to report if symptoms worsen
The mainstay of treatments in mild cases
- for fever, give paracetamol 10-15 mg/kg/dose, may repeat every 4-6 hours
- for cough throat soothing agents like warm saline gargles in older children and adolescents
- fluids and feeds ensure oral fluids for hydration and nutritious diet
- antibiotics are not indicated
- Antimicrobials are not indicated
- Maintain monitoring charts including counting respiratory rate 2 3 times a day, look for chest indrawing, bluish discoloration of body, cold extremities, urine outputs, oxygen saturation, fluid intake, activity travel, especially for young children.
The mainstay of treatment in severe cases
- Initiate immediate oxygen therapy
- Maintain fluid and electrolyte balance
- Corticosteroids therapy to be initiated
- Anticoagulants may also be indicated
- In Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome(ARDS) develops, necessary management to be initiated
- In case shock develops, necessary management to be initiated
- Antimicrobials to be administered if there is evidence/ strong suspicion of superadded bacterial infection
- may need organ support in case of organ dysfunction
Have open conversations with your kid, encourage them to ask questions and expressing their feelings. You must remember that your child will have a different reaction to stress, so be patient and understanding. Don’t forget to talk about the issue that’s bothering them. Keep track of their knowledge of personal hygiene and washing their hands, especially when they step out.
The Global Child Prodigy wishes you Happy Parenting!!!
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