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Children and COVID-19

Published on Jun 25, 2020 and last reviewed on May 18, 2022   -  6 min read

Abstract

The impact of COVID-19 has brought discomfort for children too. Read this article to know more.

Contents
Children and COVID-19

Overview:

Coronavirus has been the most fearful and destructive thing that has happened and is still happening since December 2019. Scientists and researchers all over the world had been working so strenuously day and night to figure out medicine or a vaccine for COVID-19. Now that the genius minds have come out with various vaccines and the whole world has at least got a single dose, conditions are getting better. But sadly, the virus is so mutating to more virulent forms, the efficiency of the vaccine is doubted. On knowing all the updates about the increasing number of COVID cases, adults are having a hard time. It is difficult for them to manage children. When elders are confused in the first place, they are facing multiple confusion in explaining the situation to the kids. We can discuss how to help kids during this time of pandemic in all aspects, such as mentally, emotionally, and supporting them in a safe indoor routine.

How Is the Virus Presented in Children?

Most of the time, children affected by COVID-19 were observed to have milder symptoms. Their symptoms are presented in the form of common flu very frequently. It includes a runny nose, sore throat, fever, chills, tremors, loss of smell or taste, conjunctivitis, and diarrhea. There were very few children who were affected by the severe form of the disease.

What Was the Positive Side of Lockdown to Children?

Considering the mental health of children and the lifestyle of this era, people have been experiencing a very busy life running continuously for their lives. The parents have cut short the time they spend with their kids. Kids have been left in care homes, hostels, and many situations where they do not get adequate time to spend with their parents and cherish. The kids of the present generation fail to enjoy the pampering they would get if their parents. But the previous lockdown gave abundant time, especially to the busy parents and their kids, to celebrate together.

How to Educate the Kids?

Children could be taught to learn playfully. The parents must identify which working style is the best for the child. Some learn verbally soon, some tend to learn with visual aids, and others learn with the help of music. Each student is unique, and the learning capacity varies from one person to another. Children have to be taught the importance of practicing personal hygiene without over-exaggerating the COVID-19 issue. This might create fear in young minds. If your child is a visual learner, then show them the videos of pepper hand washing techniques. Instruct them to be extra-clean in a gentle way. During the lockdown, parents cannot resist kids from playing indoors and sometimes outdoors. Restricting them from their games and routine activities would affect them mentally because it is hard for them to understand the danger. Apparently, involving them completely indoors in mobile games, movies, television, and video games is one of the unhealthy habits for children. So, the better way to cope with children is to educate them properly about hygiene measures. Ask them to follow the instructions in a kind manner and in a way they better understand. Reward them with extra time to play. This might be a positive reinforcement for the children.

What Are the Statistics of Affected Children?

Initially, all the guidelines explained that the population with low immunity would be the most affected population. The population who have a weak immune system would be kids, the elderly, and people with chronic, life-threatening diseases. But, if we take note of the overall world reports and statistics on children, it is the older people who are affected more than children. The children are known to develop very mild levels of infections, even if they got affected. The mortality in the kids is very low, almost negligible. This is a big sigh of relief for the parents and families having little kids. However, effective education and protection are important without a careless attitude.

How to Be a Role Model to the Children?

Children are nothing but grown-up babies. So most of the time, their circle involves their parents and grandparents only. They learn from our actions. We are indirectly their role models. So, it is important that parents, elder siblings, and all the family members serve as good role models in this critical period. Role modeling by practicing good hand hygiene, wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and behaving confidently will inspire them to follow the same. If we follow all these, the kids are sure to replicate us. We should be the knowledge providers for them.

What Should the Parents Do?

The parents should be more flexible with their children. They must know a few coping skills and implement them.

Coping up Strategies:

Not all families end up being saved from the virus. It is true that some families lost their loved ones. Even when the adults and adolescents are having a tough time coping up with the loss, children are additionally stressed in the current situation. This might have a huge impact on their mental health. Try to learn the tactics to soothe them. It is mandatory to give priority to the kids so that they can feel safe, protected and loved. Games and activities could be a good coping up method if it is done for a limited period of time. Enroll your kids in a new learning session with a tutor. Teach them a new healthy habit.

Tackling With Affected Children:

In a worst-case scenario, kids of our family might get affected by the virus. It could be the scariest and emotionally affecting moment at any home. Little kids facing the virus all by themselves without their parents by their side cannot be very easy. It should be tackled in the best way by ensuring kids that they are going to be fine very soon. Reassurance should be given to them by the medical team handling the child. Tele-counseling can be given to the parents of the affected children. This way, they can stay calm. If the child sees their parents calm, the kid will be satisfied emotionally. This will make children less scared. Parents crying and lamenting in front of their children should be a definite no. Show your kids a positive attitude towards the disease. Teach them that the virus is curable, and doctors are doing their jobs well.

What Are the Preventive Measures in Kids?

Hygiene methods are essential to improve the nutritional status of kids. This will prevent them from getting infected. Give them healthy foods to boost up the immune system. The foods that are known to improve immunity are foods that are rich in vitamin C and D. They include milk, garlic, lemon, ginger, oranges, and grapes. Vitamin supplements can also be given to kids. Recent studies have proved vitamin D increases recovery and decreases the mortality rate in COVID patients. Also, parallel studies have proved that due to this lockdown, people are getting the least exposure to sunlight. Adequate exposure to noon sunlight is vital. It is the easiest method for the formation of vitamin D in the body. So children should get at least half an hour of daily sunlight exposure. Instruct them to use masks and gloves. Clean the toys played by the kids regularly. Instructthem not to share their soaps and towels with others.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children:

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were used in the clinical trials of children aged six months, children above 6 months, and teenage people. These trials were made to come to a conclusion about COVID-19 vaccines for children.

Pfizer-BioNTech:

The Pfizer vaccine has been approved as a COVID-19 vaccine for children of age 12 to 17. Comirnaty (Pfizer vaccine) vaccine is the approved one. Children aged 12 and above are advised to be given 30 micrograms and those aged five to eleven can be given 10 micrograms.

Moderna:

Spikevax (Moderna vaccine) has been approved as a COVID-19 vaccine for children above 6 years of age. The vaccine is advised to be given as two doses, four weeks apart, and it is found to be equally effective in both children and adults. 50 micrograms of Spikevax is recommended in children above 12 years of age and lower than that in children of age 6 to 11. The Moderna made a trial, and it helped to know that the vaccine worked in children between the ages 6 months to 12 years. It was said that Moderna had enrolled 6,000 children for the above-mentioned trial and 3,000 participants for another COVID-19 vaccine trial for people between 12 to 17 years of age.

Have doubts about handling your kids? Call the doctors online to get parental counseling.

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Last reviewed at:
18 May 2022  -  6 min read

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