Dr. Sana Salim Khan
I get a lot of queries from parents with different scenarios where Covid is concerned. Today, I would be talking about the different case scenarios concerning children.
Here is how to manage Covid under different situations at your home:
- If both the mother and child are Covid positive, it is advisable that they should be allowed to stay together unless the mother is hospitalized or too sick. Children should not be sent to stay with other members of the family such as grandparents.
For infant children, it is advised that mothers continue breastfeeding.
- If mother is Covid positive and children are negative; if there is no other child care available – the mother can continue to care for the children but must maintain proper precautions like barrier nursing, using a double mask while interacting with the children, proper sanitization of hands and maintain physical distance as much as possible.
- If a child is Covid positive and parents are negative – parents can continue to care for the children along with maintaining proper precautions like using double masks, maintaining physical barriers and with proper sanitization of hands. Again, children must not be sent to their grandparents’ place. Elderly people have the highest risk of complications with regard to Covid. Children must not be left with them unless and until they are Covid negative.
Frequently asked questions
Q. My child has a fever. Is he/she Covid positive?
The answer to that is you cannot. If there is a family member who has tested positive for Corona or has Corona-like symptoms it is very likely that the child may be suffering from the same and must be tested for it.
Q. How can I determine if my child has Covid infection?
The most common symptoms of Covid-19 in children are fever, cough, cold, and body ache. Other symptoms in children can include headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, breathlessness, rashes, red eyes, and irritability, and body pains.
Q. When should you get your child tested for Coronavirus?
If a family member has tested positive for Coronavirus, has symptoms of Covid-19, or if your child has a fever that lasts beyond 3 days.
Q. Do all children need to be tested for Covid?
All children who have been in contact with a positive person need to be kept under a watchful eye. If they show any symptoms at all within the next 14 days they must be tested.
Q. What should I do if my child tests positive for Covid?
If your child tests positive for Covid-19, maintain a record of the temperature and monitor their oxygen with a pulse oximeter every 6 hours. For fever, tepid sponging can be done. If the temperature is more than 100°Fahrenheit, a dose of Paracetamol 10-15 mg/kg can be given.
Continue to maintain proper hygienic practices around the child. Masks must be used and should be changed every 8 hours. Give your child a well-maintained nutritious light diet and keep them well hydrated. Supplemental zinc and Vitamin C can be given as well.
Q. What are the danger signs in children?
Following symptoms must be looked out for if your child is Covid positive.
High fever lasting for more than 3 days
Increased lethargy in the child
Respiratory rate or difficulty in breathing
Falling saturation of oxygen levels below 95%.
If they show any of the danger signs they should be taken to the hospital.
Q. My child has tested positive for Covid-19, what is to be done about his routine vaccinations?
Routine vaccinations can be given after two weeks after the child has recovered from Covid. If the child has been given steroid therapy, immunization needs to be deferred for at least 3 months.
Q. Can a pregnant woman pass on Coronavirus to her unborn child?
At present, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that Covid-19 can be passed on from the pregnant mother to her unborn child. But a pregnant woman must take all precautions including masking and proper sanitization of hands. Currently, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare does not have vaccination recommendations for pregnant women.
Q. Is it safe for Covid positive mother to breastfeed her child?
Yes, a Covid positive mother can continue breastfeeding the child with complete precautions and can do barrier nursing which includes proper washing of hands and wearing a mask while taking care of the child.
While taking care of the physical health of children it is equally important that we do not fail to take the mental and emotional health into account. We must strive to create a safer and better environment for children in these trying and testing times. We have to make them feel emotionally secure and loved. We can try to engage them in different activities, try to spend some quality time with them and all in all try to allay their fears. Children might have been exposed to a lot of disease and death of near and loved ones as well during this time. It is very important that we explain the concept of life and death in an age appropriate way. We must ensure that the children and the adults around them have a positive outlook on life.
Dr Sana Salim Khan