Srinagar, May 11: Children are equally vulnerable in the ongoing coronavirus wave unlike the last one when they were hardly affected or demonstrated only mild symptoms, a top child specialist in Kashmir said on Tuesday.
“There was this general observation during the first wave of Covid pandemic that children were least affected and were asymptomatic or having mild symptoms, but in prevailing second wave of virus more children are infected which demonstrates severity of infection”, said Dr Muzaffar Jan, HoD, Pediatrician, GB Pant Hospital, Srinagar while speaking about the impact of coronavirus on children.
Cough, cold, fever, body ache and diarrhoea are the symptoms of Covid infection among children, he said and added, “Oxygen saturation of children should be above 94. However, the O2 saturation reading between 94 to 90 is a symptom of mild infection and below it indicates severity of infection”.
“In severe infection a child becomes lethargic, vomits and gets diarrhoea. Sometimes children get convulsions and shock due to infection”, said Dr Muzaffar Jan while sensitizing parents to monitor symptoms of their children. Monitor and check whether a child is breathing, responding normally or has become lethargic, he advised.
“Infectious children should be kept in isolation and administered immunity boosters including vitamins and zinc besides a paracetamol tablet”.
“In a condition of severe symptoms a child should be hospitalized.”
However, he maintained that Covid vaccination for children is not allowed because the issue is under trial, yet. Although, USA has allowed vaccination for children above 12 year olds just a day before but still covid vaccination for children has not been permitted in other countries till now, Dr Muzaffar Jan, paediatrician informed.
Regarding breast feeding, Dr Jan said that Covid positive mother can breastfeed child while properly following SOPs particularly with wearing face mask and sanitizers applied on hands after washing.
Besides, other routine immunisation to children after their covid infection can be given two weeks after the child becomes asymptomatic. However, if the child has received steroids or tocilizumab then routine immunisation should be deferred by 3 months, instructed Dr Jan.
It was advised by Dr Muzaffar that children should be kept away from elderly people because old age people are prone to get covid infection besides high morbidity risk to them.
Meanwhile, he appealed to people to get vaccinated and said that there is no need to worry for mild reactions. He called for avoiding social gathering and following SoP guidelines.