A novel coronavirus (CoV) is a new strain of coronavirus. The disease caused by the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV.’ [UNICEF]

The COVID-19 virus is a new virus linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and some types of common cold.
By now, we know Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. While the situation is swiftly evolving, and experts are learning more on daily basis, concerns about the younger population may still be on parents’ minds.

For several reasons that nobody fully understands COVID-19 which otherwise don’t cause severe problems in previously healthy children. The first and most likely under the prevailing scenario is that children are getting infected with COVID-19 but are getting a milder version of the disease.

The disease seems to be more fatal in old people, adults and those with underlying health issues. There are very less hospitalizations in children in comparison to adults.

Other possibilities may be they’re not being exposed, or they’re exposed but don’t contract infection. Based on what’s known, it appears children contract COVID-19 — but present a milder disease.

If we talk of our valley, here by the grace of Almighty Allah till date, our younger population is on safer side. In fact few kids and children’s have contracted the disease but not to that extent and are doing well till date.

Still, parents want to be informed and take precautions where possible. Below are answers to some questions, parents might have about COVID-19 and how it affects children.

What the preventative measures should parents practice with their kids?

 “Wash hands, wash hands, and then wash hands, “Kids usually like to touch their face, nose, mouth, and eyes and prove portals of entry for viruses into the body. So hand washing practice should be encouraged by parents especially before meals and when they enter home. Encourage them to practice hand washing frequently.

 Doorknobs, Desktops, Electronic gadgets and other frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Parents who are health professionals should frequently disinfect their Mobile phones as they are carrier of various diseases. Kids usually play with the mobile phones of the parents so are at high risk.

 Instruct your little ones to keep a safe distance from suspected people and cover the mouth with a handkerchief or tissue in order to prevent themselves from getting infected. It is best if you can avoid them to join crowded places completely.

 Keep kids away from those who are sick especially with respiratory diseases. As it is evident that for Covid-19, the most important thing for containment is to isolate the people who are positive for the virus. And this is especially true for keeping sick kids away from elderly underlying medical conditions.

 If you have a child with a respiratory illness who has frequent contact with elderly grandparents or caregivers, try to isolate them until the child is feeling better — kids can be reservoirs for respiratory illness.

 Teach your kids the etiquettes of Coughing and Sneezing with a flexed elbow or with a tissue while coughing or sneezing and dispose of that tissue immediately.

 Boost their immunity by regular exercise, indoor games, balanced diet, fruits, and fresh vegetables.

 Avoid all types of Junk as much as possible you can and give plenty of water to kids.

When should a parent seek Medical Advice?

Call your health provider, or reach to your nearest health facility if you know child has been exposed to someone who has contracted COVID-19, or has symptoms of COVID-19 such as a fever, cough, respiratory symptoms, diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat, and shortness of breath.
Put these simple measures into practice to ensure the safety of your little ones and others in your family. Complete awareness and proper conduct can combat this disease effectively! # Stay Home, Stay Safe

Mussaver Rashid Khwaja, PG Pediatric Nursing, Nursing Officer GMC Sgr & Associated Hospitals



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