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Bhopal: Don't panic, get vaccinated, avoid crowded places, Paediatricians to parents

Give Children healthy diet of fresh, home-cooked food. Consult doctor in case fever persists for more than two days. Take note of symptoms like cough, cold, fever and breathing distress. Home remedies and over-the-counter medication should not be tried

Staff Reporter | Updated on: Friday, June 04, 2021, 02:13 AM IST

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BHOPAL: Paediatricians in the city say that the parents should not panic because of the current speculations of an imminent third wave of Covid-19, which would be particularly harsh on children, hitting India. They suggest that the parents should get themselves vaccinated and follow the standard corona-protection norms. Children should be given a healthy diet of fresh, home-cooked food and a doctor should be consulted in case fever persists for more than two days, they say. They refused to speculate on the efficacy of ëKadhaí as a preventive treatment.

According to Dr Tarun Solanki of the Apple Childrenís Hospital, mutating is the basic characteristic of all viruses. So, there is no reason why the Covid-19 virus wonít mutate. In fact, it is already mutating. Past experience suggests that the third wave of the pandemic may be harsh on children. ìIn 1918, Spanish Flu had assumed epidemic proportions in India. Its first wave had hit the elderly, the second wave affected people in the 20-50 years age group and the third wave was particularly harsh on those below 20 years of age,î he says.

Dr Solanki, however, says, as more and more people get infected and develop antibodies and as the vaccinated population grows, the virus would find a lesser and lesser number of bodies to infect and the disease would gradually disappear. ìPlease remember that no virus ever goes away. It is the disease caused by it that disappears,î he says.

Dr Solanki says that children infected with the virus may develop Multi Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS) which is a life-threatening condition and requires critical care. ìSo, if fever persists in children for more than two days, the parents should immediately take them to a paediatrician and if they test positive, admit them to a hospital. Delay can prove costly as within four-five days, the child may become very weak,î he says. Home remedies and over-the-counter medication should not be tried, he cautions.

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His advice to the parents: Get vaccinated, avoid crowded places and take immediate action if their child shows symptoms like cough and cold, fever and breathing distress.

Assistant professor at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Medical College, Vidisha, Dr Deepak Kumar Uike, says boosting the immunity of the children is the best way to protect them from Covid-19. The diet of the children should be balanced and should include green leafy vegetables. They should be given fresh, home cooked food and should be kept well-hydrated. "Children are confined to their homes for months now and that has made them irritable. The parents should spend time with them and should create a positive atmosphere at home," he says. Also, Dr Uike says, parents should definitely go for vaccination.

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Paediatrician Dr Pradeep Kapoor says that no one can predict whether and when a third wave of the pandemic will hit the country and which age-group will it affect the most. But it is clear that those who are not immunised and are exposed to the virus are at the risk of catching the infection. And this is true of both the adults and the children. ìThere is no cause for panic. The parents and the children both should pay adequate attention to personal hygiene, wear masks and avoid visiting crowded places. Mild fever should be treated with paracetamol. However, if the fever is high or if it lasts for more than a couple of days, a doctor should be consulted,î Kapoor says.

Dr Jyotsana Shrivastava, head of the paediatrics department at the Hamidia Hospital, says that ëThird Waveí is, at best, a speculation. Currently, about 8 % of the infected persons are children. The adults, however, are getting inoculated and the children are not. This means that any future wave, if it comes, will affect a higher percentage of kids. The precautions, she said, are standard - wear masks, maintain social distance, ensure hand hygiene and donít go out unless necessary,î Shrivastava says.

"Children infected with the virus may develop Multi Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS) which is a life-threatening condition and requires critical care." -Dr Tarun Solanki, Apple Childrenís Hospital

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Published on: Friday, June 04, 2021, 02:13 AM IST