"Talks Of Future Waves Affecting Kids Specially Or With Increased Severity Are All Speculations"
India

"Talks Of Future Waves Affecting Kids Specially Or With Increased Severity Are All Speculations"

Dr. Praveen Kumar, Director, Department of Pediatrics, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi talks about various issues including the impact of COVID-19 on children, the need to protect them.

Team TNA

Team TNA

Q

How has the pandemic affected children's mental and physical health? What needs to be done to reduce its long-term impact?

A

Pandemic can have a severe effect on children’s mental and physical health. They are confined at home for more than a year. Moreover, illnesses in the family, wage losses for parents have increased stress. Children may express psychological distress (sadness) by acting out in a different way each child behaves differently. Some may become silent while others may express anger and hyperactivity.

Caregivers need to be patient with children and understand their emotions. Look for signs of stress in young children, which could be excessive worry or sadness, unhealthy eating or sleeping habits, and difficulty with attention and concentration. Families also need to support children to cope with stress and also allay their anxiety.

Q

Do you think the future waves can affect children more severely? How does the country need to prepare for any future wave of COVID-19 with respect to providing quality care to pediatric patients?

A

As we all know, COVID-19 is a new virus that has potential to mutate. Whether the future waves will affect children more or with increased severity are speculations. People speculate that future waves may affect children more as most of the adults will be vaccinated in the next few months while we do not have any approved vaccine for children at this point in time.

Though we don’t know how the virus is going to behave and affect children in the future, we need to protect our children from the contagion. Adults in the house should follow COVID-Appropriate Behavior, and limit their social engagements to reduce the chances of infection as they may carry and transmit the infection to others. Besides, all the adults should take vaccines, which will also protect the children to a great extent.

Q

How has the second wave of COVID-19 affected children?

A

Second wave has affected children equally. COVID-19 is a new virus and it affects all age groups because we do not have natural immunity against this virus. As per the NCDC/IDSP dashboard, approximately 12% of infected COVID was contributed by patients less than 20 years of age.

Recent surveys have shown similar seropositivity in children and adults. However, due to a larger number of people affected during second wave number of infected children were also more as compared to the first wave. So far, the mortality rate in children is lower as compared to adults and is usually seen in children with comorbidities.

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