DURBAN – Despite early reports that children were largely unaffected by the Coronavirus, kids are at risk of contracting and spreading the virus. A small percentage of infected kids can develop very severe Covid-19 and in some cases die.
According to renowned virologist Dr. Angela Rasmussen, if a child tests positive or presents symptoms, the best way to avoid spreading the virus is to separate the child from the rest of the household.
“A small percentage of infected kids can develop very severe Covid-19 and in some cases die. This is especially true for the close contacts with whom they spend significant time indoors such as members of their household,” she said.
Planning ahead for possible illness is the advise that paediatric infectious-disease specialist Kristin Moffitt gives to parents.
“Stock up on essentials, including over-the-counter fever medications, a humidifier, bleach or other recommended cleaning supplies, hand soap, face coverings and some extra groceries, in case someone gets sick. Parents should also consider designating a point person outside the home who can bring in supplies in the event someone in the home gets sick and the family has to quarantine,” she said.
In addition Moffitt says, families will need to be creative. Children should sleep in a bedroom alone, even if it means rearranging sleeping quarters. If co-sleeping or room-sharing must occur, she suggests sleeping head to toe if children are old enough or rearranging furniture to reduce transmission.
Physical distancing and other protective measures should continue until 10 days after the onset of symptoms, or until the child is symptom-free for three days. Parents or caretakers should immediately contact urgent or emergency medical care if they notice these warning signs in a child:
- Difficulty breathing or catching his or her breath
- Inability to keep down any liquids
- New confusion or inability to awaken
- Cyanosis (Bluish skin or lips)
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