The second wave of COVID-19 affected a large number of people in India; unlike the first wave, it affected all age groups including infants and children. There are a lot of questions asked by parents in OPD, here are answers for few common questions by Dr K Seshagiri, MD, DM (Neonatology), Chief Consultant Neonatologist, Giggles by OMNI, Visakhapatnam.
Yes, like adult’s children, infants and even newborns will get infected if exposed to family members who are having COVID, contributing to almost 12% of all cases. More cases reported in children more than 10 years (9%) compared to children less than 10 years (3%).
Children have a strong innate immune response compared to adults. Expression of ACE 2 receptors varies in children. Excellent regeneration capacity and absence of comorbidities protect children from severe disease.
Fever, cough, cold, sore throat, shortness of breath, are common. Few may present with vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain or skin rashes also.
Please consult a Paediatrician, most of the cases are mild all they require is symptomatic treatment and monitoring (clinical & laboratory). Moderate or sick cases only need admission for further management.
Vertical transmission of COVID-19 from the mother to baby is rare. If the mother and baby both are stable, the mother can breastfeed the baby with proper hand hygiene, use of gowns and mask, proper cleaning. Mother and baby can be kept in the same room with physical distancing and other precautions.
Most of them are stable and asymptomatic, very few develop fever, respiratory distress, dehydration, shock, cardiac failure, renal failure and multi-organ failure. If they are sick should be cared for in the “COVID positive area” in NICU.
Yes, we have to follow a routine immunization schedule like any other baby
Baby should not be handled by multiple people and correct masking and hand hygiene by mother and other family members should be followed. Good hygiene, a clean environment and natural ventilation/light for mother and baby are important.
Yes, they should consult your Paediatrician. There is a recently emerging medical condition called MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children). This condition presents in the children who recovered from asymptomatic or symptomatic COVID-19 with fever, rash, conjunctivitis, heart failure and gastrointestinal system. These children need admission, evaluation and treatment. Usually, they recover with good treatment.
Trails are underway for the safety and efficacy of COVID vaccines in children as young as 6 months. Once they are approved for paediatric use by the concerned authorities, they will be available for vaccination for the children.
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