It has been nearly four months since the first new case of coronavirus (COVID-19) appeared in Wuhan, China. It has since turned into a pandemic that has left thousands dead, billions infected and billions trapped in their homes.
While the virus has yet to be confirmed, its health effects are considered less severe in children than in adults. However, some infections and even several childhood deaths from the disease have been reported in different countries.
Since there is currently no vaccine to treat this deadly respiratory illness, parents should take all possible measures to protect their children from infection.
Symptoms of the coronavirus in children:
The symptoms of COVID-19 in children are similar to those in adults, including a sore throat, dry cough, and shortness of breath, although they are much milder than in adults. Children rarely have symptoms so severe that they need to go to the hospital.
It remains unclear whether children with an underlying medical condition are more likely to contract the virus than children who are otherwise healthy, as is the case with adults.
Research is still ongoing to determine how COVID-19 affects children.
Avoid the crowd:
The best way to protect your children from coronavirus is to limit their contact with people who are infected or suspected of being infected.
This is important because when an infected person sneezes or coughs, they release droplets into the air that could contain the virus hence you can purchase an airbourne sanitiser for commercial use. These droplets can get onto the baby’s face or adjacent surfaces.
Encourage children to wash their hands regularly:
Encourage the children to wash their hands regularly with warm water and soap several times a day, especially after sneezing, coughing, using the toilet, and after entering after playing outdoors.
Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol is an effective alternative when soap and water are not available.
If your child refuses to wash their hands, small rewards in the form of a sticker can encourage them to do this practice over and over again.
Cough or sneeze gently:
Encourage everyone in your family to cover their mouths with a tissue or elbow when sneezing or coughing, and to wash their hands every time they do. Dispose of wipes immediately after use.
Like adults, children are exposed to the coronavirus through contact with their mouth, nose, eyes, and lungs. While children are less likely to contract COVID-19, it is important that parents work with them to reduce their risk.