Coronavirus and children – symptoms, treatment and prevention
What parents need to know about coronavirus and children? How to protect your kids? What are the symptoms and what to do in case of infection? These are some important questions and with the rising number of Covid-19 cases worldwide, parents are trying to protect their children from the disease. There are many unknowns about coronavirus and research is ongoing. Here is what is known so far. Based on reports and observations in China, where the outbreak began, 2.4% of all identified cases were in children under 19 years old and only 2.5% of children within this group had severe symptoms.
So, the good news about effects of coronavirus on children is that young people are at less risk of serious illness and the disease is generally milder. This does not mean that children cannot be infected. Yes, they can and they could also be carriers of the virus, but they will develop symptoms little worse than flu.
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Reported symptoms in children are cold symptoms such as fever, runny nose and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. Should you be concerned if your child has a health condition? There is not yet evidence about whether coronavirus could affect more negatively children with diabetes or asthma, which are risk factors for adults. There is a lot to learn about how the disease affects children.
Parents need to be vigilant. The virus is transmitted by droplets in the air when a person who is infected coughs or sneezes and the virus contacts the eyes, nose, mouth or lungs. It is obligatory to limit the contacts of children with people who are, or may be, sick with the virus. That is why it is important for children to practice social distancing and hand-washing. Avoid crowded places when possible, limit visits to the park and playground. Keep children at least 2 meters away from anyone who is ill, has a cough or fever, including family members.
Hand washing is essential for preventing Coronavirus infection
One of the most important things that parents need to do is explain the situation to their children. Another important coronavirus prevention measure is teaching children to wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Sing 20 second hand washing songs together with the kids. When should children wash their hands? Kids must wash their hands before eating and as soon as they enter the home, when sneezing, coughing or blowing their nose. Smaller children may not understand the importance of 20 second hand washing. Parents must be an example and wash their hands with the children. You can also give them a small reward as a promotion sticker every time they wash their hands. When soap and water are not available, the next best option is hand disinfection.
Monitor face touching
Parents should remind children to avoid touching their face as much as possible. Keeping their hands busy helps, it could be a toy that they carry. Just make sure to wash these toys regularly.
Clean and disinfect the house
Wipe off the toys and surfaces your child regularly touches. Clean and disinfect the surfaces at home – worktops, door handles, remote controls and electronic devices, etc. Make sure that you store cleaning supplies in cabinets that are not easily accessible to your children.
In conclusion, we have to say that despite the fact that there is much more to be learned about the new COVID-19 coronavirus, it seems there are fewer serious health consequences for children than for adults, which is encouraging news.