Doctor Speaks: ‘Teach Children Covid Appropriate Behaviour’

Dr Sanjeev Kumar Digra

JAMMU: Dr Sanjeev Kumar Digra, Professor Department of Pediatrics, SMGS Hospital Jammu has said that irrespective of the hyped third-wave of Covid-19, young children have always been at risk of communicating the infection.

Although, in earlier waves, the infection was observed to be asymptomatic and mild in nature, it could become more severe in future, he added.

“As more of the population is infected with the virus, young children become more vulnerable to catch its infection. Thus, the onus of protecting children from Covid-19 is upon adults. If they religiously follow Covid appropriate behaviour, they can make sure that the infection doesn’t reach their kids at home’ the doctor advised.

The doctor said the elders in the family need to act as role-model and teach children how to adopt Covid appropriate behaviour, wear masks and sanitise hands frequently. ‘Till the time trial of vaccine for kids is going on and kids are not vaccinated, Covid appropriate behaviour is the only defence’ he said. However, he said that according to recent guidelines, lactating mothers can also get vaccination.

The doctor also reminded parents to get children their routine vaccines in order to prevent other deadly diseases. ‘Vaccines help prevent numerous deadly diseases in children. If only they’re protected from them all, can we expect our children to have strong immunity against Covid also’, he said.

Giving tips to parents, the doctor advises them to take care of children’s nutrition and hydration in addition to engaging in indoor physical activities to keep fit. He suggests that parents spend time with their young ones while limiting their on-screen time, ie. usage of phones, tablets and other multimedia gadgets.

‘If there is a symptomatic Covid patient at home, make sure to isolate him/ her and not let children around. On the contrary, if a child is Covid positive, the adults should make sure to wear double-masks when around the child, given that the child is not old enough to be kept in isolation’, educates Dr Sanjeev. They also need to frequently sanitise surfaces and things around the child, he added.

Detailing Covid symptoms in children, Dr Sanjeev informs that they include fever, throat pain, cold, cough, dysentery. In the second wave, it has been observed that children also tend to develop rashes and redness in eyes, he said.

‘If a child is suffering from high grade fever for four to five days, is not eating well, starts vomiting, not breathing naturally, has bluish discolouration of body parts, has sunken eyes or dry lips, and his/ her oxygen saturation level dips below 94, one must immediately consult a doctor telephonically, or through eSanjeevani telemedicine facility. All facilities are available for treatment of such children at Maternal & Child Care Hospital, Gandhi Nagar Jammu, informs Dr Sanjeev.

Expressing hope, Dr Sanjeev says, ‘If we sincerely adopt Covid appropriate behaviour, we might even be able to prevent the third wave at all’.

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