Things To Keep In Mind If Your Kid Tests Positive for COVID

Things To Keep In Mind If Your Kid Tests Positive for COVID

Barkha Chawla

Children as young as a day old can get ill with Coronavirus. But most kids are asymptomatic or only experience mild to moderate symptoms. With the 3rd wave hitting our country, we spoke to Dr. Archana M, Consultant – Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Manipal Hospitals, Bangalore, and here is what she had to say:

How is the COVID situation in India?

There has been a rampant spread of cases due to omicron since the start of this new year. In this 3rd wave, I have been seeing that huge numbers have been infected over a short period of time including children. Almost 90% of children visiting with fever, cough, and cold are COVID positive. Even the adults vaccinated with 2 doses of COVID vaccines are turning out to be COVID positive.

How to not panic if your kid has tested COVID positive?

To reduce the stress and panic among parents we need to educate and make the parents aware of the clinical presentation of omicron and what to expect and monitor during the illness.
1.Children usually present with a mild disease which is characterized by fever, sore throat, mild cough, running nose, headache, body ache, rashes. All of these symptoms last for 3 to 5 days.
2. Only symptomatic medications for fever, cough, cold, and pain will be required.
3. No other COVID-specific medications are required and home isolation would suffice with monitoring by a pediatrician.
4. Regular monitoring of oxygen saturation once in 6 hours after a 6-minute walk is required and it should be above 95 %. Children should be kept well hydrated.
5. Very few children present with drop-in oxygen saturation and breathing difficulty or persistent fever beyond 3- 4 days, these children would require further evaluation with blood tests and chest x-ray and sometimes even admission.
6. Children with comorbidities would be at the highest risk for severe disease, and these children should be very closely monitored and any of the red flags in these children will warrant admission, and also COVID-specific drugs would be considered for these children.

How can we keep ourselves prepared for the 3rd Wave?

In the wake of the third wave where we are seeing that many of our near and dear ones are becoming positive with this Omicron variant and we are finding that many children are getting infected with the Omicron virus, so, there is no need to panic regarding this. There are certain things that have to be kept prepared before the infection hits us. It is better to follow the precautions stringently to avoid COVID-19, like wearing masks, social distancing and also keeping ourselves
immunized with the two doses of COVID vaccination, especially for those whom the government has approved.
Other than this, there are certain things which we have to keep ready at our house. That will be a thermometer, pulse oximeter, sodium hypochlorite solution (one is to four dilutions), hand sanitizers or soap solutions has to be kept ready.
Once anybody faces the symptoms of the COVID that is itchy or scratchy throat, fever, body aches, lower limb pains, headache, and cough, immediately go ahead and do the rapid antigen test and these kits are available in medical stores. If
that turns out to be negative, still, you will have to go ahead and get your RT PCR done from the ICMR accredited lab only. If either of the tests is positive, then immediately get a consultation from the pediatrician, and the medications given by them have to be taken.
During this process, if the child has any worsening of the symptoms like the persistent fever of more than three to four days or worsening of cough or any breathing difficulty or drop in the oxygen saturation below 95%, then the review consultation has to be done with the pediatrician and at times even admission might be required. So there is no need to panic regarding the situation.
Everybody can tide over this situation, provided we do not deny the fact that we have developed the symptoms of COVID. In the second wave when the Delta variant was predominant, there were multiple situations where the youngsters used to deny the fact that they had COVID and there was a delay in seeking medical help. So the same should not happen in this particular wave. So once we know that we have the symptoms, I think we should accept that and go ahead and get ourselves treated without any delay.

Following guidelines to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus can be particularly difficult for kids. Stay patient. Children see and learn, be a good role model and your kid will be more likely to follow your lead.

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