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COVID-19 in children: A Paediatrician’s perspective

The covid-19 pandemic has affected children the most as per many pediatricians’ perspectives. With lockdowns and the schools shut down, children have taken the worst brunt of this pandemic. The good news is that as per WHO, between January 2020 and October 2021, only 2% and 7% of the children under the age of 5 years and 5-14 years age group, respectively, had COVID-19 globally. Here is an insight into the various aspects of COVID-19 infection in children and its consequences, and what you, as a parent, can do to make the management of the infection in particular, and the pandemic in general, smooth for your children.  

Shutting down schools has not only disrupted the regular pace of education but has also created emotional stress and mental health issues in children. Gadgets have become their companions. Excessive screen time and no physical activity or interaction with peers are leading to psychological and behavioral issues. Children are allowed prolonged and unmonitored use of the gadgets for online classes, completing homework/ projects, and entertainment. 

COVID-19 in children , symptoms and management.  

Children exposed to the Covid-19 virus exhibit symptoms within 2-14 days of exposure and present one or more of the following symptoms: fever, fatigue, cough, nasal congestion, diarrhea, sore throat, etc. latest evidence has shown that almost half the pediatric COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic. Also, because the symptoms of COVID-19 in children coincide with other infections like influenza, screening symptomatic children for COVID-19 is very challenging. One should consult his pediatrician if the symptoms persist for more than 3 days or aggravate over a period of time. 

 It is important to maintain a healthy atmosphere at home and encourage children to explore the world outside these gadgets. Interaction with peers at school gives them a sense of freedom, boosts their confidence, releases any mental stress and fears, and of course, keeps them physically and mentally fit. This also exposes the children to different viruses already prevalent which keeps their immune system primed all the time, thus helping in fighting any subsequent infection with coronavirus. 

COVID-19 in children: A Paediatrician’s perspective

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