A spokesperson of the Health Department said here today that the most common Covid-19 symptoms in children include fever, cough, running nose, sore throat, body ache, headache, malaise and weakness. They may also have diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, loss of smell and taste. However, in mild cases there would be no shortness of breath. In moderate and severe cases, rapid respiration and fall in oxygen saturation less than 94 percent may be seen.
He said that asymptomatic cases having a suspected contact history and mild cases with sore throat, running nose and other symptoms of Covid but with no breathing difficulty should be taken care under home isolation. The Tele-consultation services should be used for such children on SOS basis. Such children should be given oral fluids to maintain hydration and nutritious diet. The Covid appropriate behaviour should be strictly followed by the children and adults of the family. It is advised that the family members should engage in positive talks through phones, video calls etc. However, the children having moderate to severe symptoms should immediately be shifted to hospital.
He said that as per the comprehensive guidelines for management of Covid-19 in children below 18 years issued by Directorate General of Health Services, Government of India, all the cases of Covid amongst children would be divided into 4 categories for clinical management of these cases. The drug Remdesivir is not recommended for children as it is being used only after Emergency Use Authorization.
The spokesperson said that for the children above 12 years “6 minute walk test” should be done to unmask hypoxic symptoms under the supervision of parents or guardians.
He further informed that use of steroids are not indicated and are harmful in asymptomatic and mild cases of Covid-19. Steroids should be used at the right time, in right dose and for right duration in hospitalized moderately severe and critically ill Covid-19 cases of this age group. The anti coagulations like aspirin, low molecular weight heparin are recommended in severely ill cases of Covid-19 and Multi system inflammatory syndrome in children.
He further added that children upto 5 years of age are not advised to wear masks as per the guidelines. Children aged 6 to 11 years may wear a mask depending upon the ability of the child to use mask safely under direct supervision of parents or guardians. Children aged 12 years and above should wear mask under the same conditions as adults. He appealed that the parents or guardians should ensure that their child keeps hand hygiene and regularly cleans the hands with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer while handling the mask.
He said that 1,97,438 persons were affected from Covid-19 till 10th June, 2021 in the State out of which most of the cases were more than 18 years of age. However, apprehending the arrival of third wave of Covid in which children may be affected, the State is making all adequate arrangements to tackle the situation.