The new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (and the resulting disease, COVID-19) has put the whole world in danger, but nobody is as worried as parents. It may seem impossible to protect children from disease when germs are so unpredictable and spread everywhere. And while experts initially reported that COVID-19 isn’t dangerous for infants and young children, reality varied.
Can babies get infected with the coronavirus?
Most people infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the contagious corona virus, are adults. Though children do not seem to be at very high risk and some do not even show symptoms, newly born are vulnerable due weaker immunity.
According to a recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics, infants and young children (age 03) are less likely to carry SARSCoV2, but are more likely to transmit SARSCoV2 if compared to children of age 14 or above.
In rare cases, children with the Covid-19 can develop a severe lung infection and become seriously ill, resulting in death. Therefore, the prevention of infections in children is equally important.
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 in infants and small children
Babies and young children can get sick very quickly and since they cannot communicate, parents and caregivers need to be careful and see a doctor right away if they see any of the following:
- The baby is small than 3 months and has developed a fever of 38 degrees Celsius or more
- The baby is 3 to 6 months old and has a fever of 38 degrees Celsius or more
- Other symptoms in the child like rashes
- High fever that has lasted for 5 days or more
- The baby doesn’t eat properly
- Dehydration-Nappies are not very wet, sunken eyes, and no tears when they cry
If the infection hits hard, it may leave the kids with an uncommon Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) that can cause inflammation in different body parts like skin, eyes, and kidney. Know the symptoms.
Why is wearing mask prohibited for toddlers and small children?
Infants and children under the age of 2 should not wear masks for the following reasons:
- The narrow airways make it difficult to breathe through the mask.
- They are too small to convey if they are having any trouble, as such they can choke due to breathing issues.
- Some parts of the mask can irritate your child, such as straps and elastic cords. They’ll probably try to remove the mask and often touch their faces. This can increase the risk of infection and spread of the virus.
Protect your little ones with extra care
Here are some ways to prevent Covid-19 infection in kids-
- Be careful if you take your child out in a stroller, you can place a covering but make sure you monitor the baby’s moments and not let the blanket/covering touch the baby. Sanitize the carrier when you get home.
- If your kids are over two years of age, ask them to wear masks whenever necessary and teach them hygiene basics.
- For babies protection before birth, pregnant women should be more cautious including regular doctor consultations, getting a COVID-19 vaccine, and having nutritious diet to avoid the corona virus infection. Read more here.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, regular researches are being carried, and we are learning more about the virus every day. The good part is that vaccination drives have been able to jab almost everybody and at least we know how to protect ourselves. It is obvious that you are already aware of the below stated but adhering regularly to these important steps is the key.
- Socially distance
- Wash your hands regularly
- Get both your doses of vaccination (Babies can’t get the Covid-19 vaccine yet but you can indirectly protect them by getting yourself vaccinated)