By now, it has been established that the second wave of COVID has gripped us, and it’s far more severe than what we witnessed last year. Many people are getting affected, and children, too, have not been spared. It’s believed that this is because the virus has changed its nature. The callous attitude from a large section of the population has also helped the virus spread and infect many.
Another concerning fact is that the second wave has hit children hard, and even they are getting infected. This blog will focus on two situations of caring for your kids when COVID comes calling at home. Let’s begin.
At a time when children have limited mobility, parents are their biggest source of support. If your child is small and depends on you for every little thing, then the last thing you would want is to fall ill due to COVID-19. However, if you do, then follow these steps to take care of your child:
This is the first thing you should do to reduce the risk of infection in your child. While it’s essential to let your child know that you are down with an infectious disease, don’t create an air of panic. Keep your child motivated and tell him or her that you will soon recover.
If you panic or fret, your child is bound to get affected negatively. They will feel vulnerable, and it can be difficult to manage your kid. So, remain calm to sail through the situation.
You won’t be able to interact with your child as you would love to when you are down with COVID. Equally essential is to ensure that your child’s needs are met with ease. So, during this time, you can seek help from caregivers or your parents, for that matter.
If you seek help from caregivers, make sure to familiarise them with your child’s needs. Do set clear instructions as to what the child needs and when. Monitor activities virtually over your phone to make sure that your child’s needs are fulfilled with ease.
If it’s difficult to arrange a caregiver, then approach your parents, if possible. Note that children are extremely close to their grandparents and can easily forget about the happenings of their home when they are with them.
Also, grandparents know very well about their needs, and you can be rest assured that their requirements are well-taken care of. If you need to send your child to your parents’ house, it’s advisable to get him/her tested as children are fast spreaders of the disease.
As said, children can terribly miss their parents when they isolate themselves because of COVID-19. This missing can even lead to issues with mental health. Here, technology can come to your rescue. In other words, you can bank on technology to connect with your child.
Talk over video calls with your child as many times as possible so that he/she doesn’t feel lonely. Equally essential is to make sure that you talk about positive stuff and keep the child jovial during such interactions. This will help your child stay in a positive frame of mind.
If there is no option but to take care of your child, make sure to take all the necessary precautions. Use good quality masks and personal protective equipment while talking or engaging in any other activity with your child.
Maintain social distancing norms and also advise your child to adopt precautionary measures during such interactions. What it means is that your child too needs to wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and most importantly, keep washing hands at regular intervals with soap or an alcohol-based sanitiser.
Good hygiene measures go a long way in ensuring that you and your child remain protected from the virus.
As said in the beginning, the second COVID wave has been harsh on children because of the changing nature of the virus. While vaccination has started for adults (those above 18), no vaccine or medication is available yet for children. So, prevention is better than cure.
To protect your child from the novel coronavirus:
Before delving into the ways of caring for your child affected with COVID, it’s essential to note the symptoms of corona infection in your child. These include:
If fever persists for more than 3 days, get an RT-PCR test done. You can also go for a rapid antigen test but confirm the same with a PCR test in case of a negative report. If your child is COVID positive, take care of him/her in the ways given below.
It’s essential to create a positive environment for your child if he/she is down with COVID. If you continue to tell them about the high number of people infected with the disease, the same will stress them and hamper the healing process.
So, it’s of utmost importance that you keep them in a positive frame of mind. Tell them stories that they like or show them movies, cartoons, or shows to keep them entertained. When you do so, you can divert your child’s mind away from the disease and help him/her recover quickly.
You must keep monitoring the symptoms in your child. Record temperature and oxygen saturation levels with the help of a pulse oximeter every 6 hours. If fever is more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, give paracetamol. Consider the situation serious if:
If you find these symptoms, then take your child immediately to the nearest COVID centre without delay. Having said that, only a small percentage of children develop serious conditions, and only a few symptomatic ones require ICU treatment.
If your child is doing well at home, it’s still advisable to keep in constant touch with your doctor through teleconsultation and keep him/her aware of the current situation. Your doctor is the best person to take a call on your child’s condition.
Unless serious, it’s better not to take your child to a clinic as there’s a chance of spreading the infection to others. It will also relieve your child from the hassle of travelling and waiting in a clinic.
It’s essential to maintain your hygiene while caring for your child. To do so:
Also, encourage your child to use tissue while coughing or sneezing and ask them to dispose of it immediately after usage. Teach your child the benefits of healthy habits and make him/her follow them judiciously.
While the above tips come in handy in caring for your child when he/she is down with COVID-19, note that if your child has any serious pre-existing disease related to heart or liver, then the risk is quite high. Also, obese children and those who are low on immunity are at a higher risk of contracting the disease.
At the same time, note that the drugs used for treating severe adult COVID-19 patients have limited utility in children. There has not been any case of having to use them while treating children. It’s essential to adopt caution and not let the guard down in these times.