GUWAHATI: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has released a fresh set of guidelines for parents regarding prevention and management in children ahead of the prediction of another third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic which may affect the children in large.
For cleanliness, the Ministry has mentioned that 20 seconds of handwashing practice should be a must for every child with soap and water or sanitizer for children. It also directed the parents to teach children above 5 years to wear masks while going out.
Parents are also instructed to clean floors and surfaces touched commonly by children even toys at least once daily with 1% of sodium hypochloride.
Sick adults at home are also directed to stay as far as possible from children as well as teach children to maintain 6 feet distance from others.
Breastfeeding of children could continue with COVID-appropriate behaviour.
Symptoms for COVID in children are the same as in adults like fever or chills, running nose, loss of taste, smell, diarrhea, poor appetite etc.
Children with malnutrition, disability, HIV-like conditions, liver, cardiac, kidney-related problems will require extra care.
A child can be monitored regularly by counting respiratory rate 2-3 times a day, checking bluish discoloration of skin and body parts if it’s extremely cold, checking urine output, oxygen saturation, body temperature 4th hourly etc.
In case of urine output less than 0.5 to 1.5 cc/kg/hour, oxygen saturation below 94 per cent, temperature more than 100.4 F, skin rashes, redness, swelling of lips, tongue, hands and feet contact a doctor immediately.
In case a child gets infected by COVID-19 then asymptomatic or children with mild symptoms like sore throat, cough or no difficulty in breathing can be managed at home by putting them in home isolation without any investigation.
Children should be isolated in a well-ventilated room. Mother or caretaker of children below 5 years can accompany the. ASHA or other available functionaries should keep informed.
For fever, children can be given paracetamol 10-15 mg/kg/ dose every 4-6 hours.
For cough, in older children saline gargles with salt can be performed.
In the case of fluid and feeds, oral fluids are a must to maintain hydration.
In case of severe symptoms shall be moved to the nearest COVID health center immediately.
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