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Keeping children safe during the second and third wave of COVID-19

Updated on 23 June 2021

Reports from health experts have suggested that children are not at more risk from the third wave of COVID-19. However, it is best to stay cautious for your children’s sake. With more potential strains on the horizon, it is more important to be careful than ever before. As a result, it is important to educate ourselves about the virus and think about the various ways in which we can protect ourselves. In India, the third wave of COVID-19 has left parents searching for guidance about how to shield their children and what to do if their child or a family member exhibits COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive. With the increasing number of COVID cases in infants, it's more important than ever to protect them and keep the infection from spreading. That said, by teaching our children about the pandemic and urging them to take such measures, we will effectively mitigate the virus's harmful effects while also keeping them safe. Here are a few pointers to help you do that. Encouraging them to stay indoors: Even if it's difficult, you must encourage your child to remain indoors during times of crisis. Since children are as susceptible as elders to the infection, avoid sending children outside to play. Instead, plan exciting indoor activities to keep them occupied. For example: involve the children in household chores on a regular basis. Simple activities like this will help your child become more autonomous, improve focus and self-confidence, and provide a break from electronics. Watering gardens, cooking basic recipes, assisting in washing, or assisting with simple activities such as cutting or washing dishes are all examples of what you can do to help. Following this routine will not only keep things running efficiently at home but will also help them learn important life skills to become organized and disciplined individuals. Enable no strangers into your home and teach your children to maintain social distance: It is best to stop inviting guests at home at the moment. The virus is extremely contagious and transmissible. It is important to maintain vigilance and caution. In addition, if you have guests, instruct your children to maintain social distance. Even if you're outside, practise social distancing, especially if you're in a crowded place. Maintain (yours and) your child's personal hygiene: It's important to wash your hands often with either soap or an alcohol-based sanitizer for 20 seconds. This must be done before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at these periods. If children are left alone, they can come into contact with dirty or polluted surfaces and materials, resulting in infection. Make sure the children wash their hands often and thoroughly enough to prevent this. Additionally, children should take notice of their indoor surroundings and keep it clean, disinfected, and tidy. If children are feeling unwell, it is necessary to keep them at home, isolated from people outside. In case of symptoms reported by your child, a specialist should be consulted at the earliest. Disinfect surfaces regularly: Care to scrub and wipe constantly touched surfaces and materials in addition to washing your hands. The virus, according to experts, will lock on to objects or surfaces. As a result, you or your children could be exposed to a polluted surface. To stop this, disinfect surfaces as much as possible, and as meticulously as possible. Make your children wear masks: COVID-19 can mostly disperse through air, according to a recent analysis, which explains why it can spread through massive droplets known as aerosols. Wearing a mask, however, is absolutely essential. When your child has visitors or is in a busy environment, make sure he or she wears a mask. With all these precautions and safety measures in place you minimise the risk of contracting the virus and protecting yourself and your child successfully. Guiding your child through the aforementioned practices will help keep themselves safe, and by extension, us. Safeguarding the future generations begins with the discipline we imbibe in them, and every small decision has a snowball effect towards a safer, healthier future. FAQ’s: Is the third wave more dangerous to children? Beyond rumours and speculations, there hasn’t been confirmed evidence that the third wave is indeed more dangerous to children. Experts have even denied such claims, with research showing that children in fact have milder illness, less prognosis, and lower mortality as compared to adults. Parents are advised to remain calm and avoid acting in haste. What are some symptoms to watch out for in children? The prevalence of symptoms differ by age group, though some of the common ones are seen in children as well. This includes runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever, and fatigue. Apart from these, children have been reported to have infrequent gastrointestinal signs such as diarrhoea, vomiting, and stomach ache. Children with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome may be affected by inflammation of organs including the heart, lungs, kidneys, digestive system, blood vessels, skin, eyes, and even the brain. What precautions should parents take for the safety of children? First and foremost, a sense of extreme self discipline with respect to hygiene must be instilled in children. This includes practices such as washing hands thoroughly for 20 whole seconds, covering the mouth while coughing or sneezing, and wearing a mask when stepping outside, to name a few. Secondly, children must be made aware of the consequences of flouting precautionary measures. They should realize by now that their actions influence not only their own health, but that of their loved ones around them and the country by large. This will help them be more careful with every action in their day to day lives. Third, children must be taught to be aware of their surroundings. If their indoor environment is unclean, they promptly clean and disinfect it. If they are outdoors and notice a crowd accumulating, they should know to keep their social distance of at least 6 feet. Fourth, extended home isolations can be difficult for children. They should have some activities to keep them busy and occupied. After all “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop”. Prolonged periods of remaining at home with nothing productive to do can lead to depressive and anxious thoughts. It helps to introduce your children to new hobbies that will stimulate their mind and body to keep them engaged for hours. Can children be affected by long-haul COVID symptoms? Children are equally susceptible to be COVID long haul patients. They may experience symptoms many weeks after first contracting the COVID infection. Some of the common symptoms include fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, sore throats, headaches, and muscle pain and weakness. How to take care of children if parents have been tested positive? The first thing to do is keep the child in isolation, away from the parents. Parents should have their masks on at all times to avoid spreading the infection from themselves to the child. If possible, it is best to send them to a family member or friend in the vicinity, but only after the child has been tested. What are some essential nutrients and vitamins to help boost children’s immunity: It's impossible to go wrong with a well-balanced diet and a healthy immune system. Your body can protect you against any sickness, including the new coronavirus or COVID-19, if you have a healthy immune system. While there is currently no proven home treatment to protect you from COVID-19, there are several vitamins and foods that you may include in your diet to help you stay healthy. Yogurt: Yogurt is a natural probiotic that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in our bodies. Keep in mind that it must be produced from scratch. If you have a sore throat, regardless of the cause, yoghurt may aggravate it, but you need probiotics for higher immunity, so you may take supplements. Turmeric: Turmeric is a golden spice with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory that assists in the healing of wounds and infections. It is for this reason that turmeric milk is frequently recommended. Natural anti-virus food: Tulsi leaves, star anise (a spice), garlic, and ginger are among natural antiviral foods that can protect against seasonal flu. When it comes to strengthening immunity and cleaning toxins out. Vitamins: Vitamin C and Vitamin D are two of the most important vitamins for boosting one's immunity. More citrus fruits and vegetables, such as Amla, Lemon, Orange, and others, should be consumed for this purpose. Vitamin D may also be found in egg yolks and mushrooms. Zinc: Zinc is another vitamin that aids in the proper functioning of your immune system and metabolism. Zinc can be obtained by supplements or ingestion of cashews, pumpkin seeds, and chickpeas, among other foods.






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