Central Govt Guidelines For COVID Treatment Among Children and Infants
The second wave of COVID-19 is deeply affecting people irrespective of age and the signs of coronavirus are being seen among children and infants. The Central Government has issued separate COVID-19 guidelines on how to treat them based on the symptoms.
The Health Ministry has issued two separate documents for COVID protocol in treating children. One of these is the revised guidelines for home isolation and management protocol for the paediatric age group.
Though there is no suggestion of any treatment for asymptomatic children, they are asked to monitor possible symptoms.
Guidelines issued for children
Mild Symptoms: For children who have mild symptoms such as a sore throat, running nose, cough with shortness of breath, gastrointestinal problems.
No testing has been recommended
Such children can be treated by keeping them in home isolation.
Children with mild symptoms are advised not to be given antibiotics.
With Symptoms: For the treatment of children who have symptoms of COVID-19, paracetamol (10-15 mg/kg/dose) can be given to them after consultation with a doctor.
It can be repeated every 4 to 6 hours.
Gargle with warm water if you have a cough.
Ensure plenty supply of water and giving ORS solution is recommended along with healthy nutritious foods.
Moderate Symptoms: If the oxygen saturation level is above 90%, then it is included in the Moderate category.
Pneumonia can occur in children with mild symptoms.
However, routine lab tests are not recommended for such children unless they show severe symptoms.
Children with moderate symptoms can be admitted to Covid Dedicated Health Centres or any Health Care Facility.
Paracetamol (10-15 mg/kg/dose) for fever may be given to children with moderate COVID-19, amoxicillin in case of bacterial infection.
Oxygen supplementation may be required if oxygen saturation is less than 94%.
The oxygen level has been reduced from 95 to 94 for home isolation.
Patients with cancer and transplants will be able to live in home isolation.
The caretaker of the patient will have to make a four-hour monitoring chart.
This includes temperature, heart rate (from pulse oximeter), SpO2 percentages, and other symptoms of well being.
Guidelines issued for children
Infants and Babies: The Health Ministry has warned against giving different kinds of antiviral and antibiotics drugs to babies. The infants may not able to tolerate such heavy medication.
Medication not to be used for children
Some medications are currently used by adults. Of these chhloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, azatinavir/ritonavir, lopinavir/ritonavir, remdesivir, tocilizumb and favipiravir, and interferon are not required for children.
Data on outcomes seen in children due to overdose of remdesivir injections are not yet available.
Frequent fevers with temperatures touching 100.4 degrees in children should be noted for symptoms. Tests like ECG, Echo can be done. Oxygen percentage should be tested by pulse oximeter and if the oxygen concentration is less than 94 it should be treated as severe. Parents should not lift the baby close to their nose and mouth. This puts parents at risk for airborne infections.
An N-95 mask will be mandatory for the caretaker of the corona patient.
Usage of Paracetamol
Paracetamol dose of 10–15 mg for every 4–6 hours may be given if the child has a fever.
A sore throat can be treated with warm saline water.
Antibiotics should not be used under any circumstances.
Parents need to look at the baby's body turning blue, the difference in urination and the decrease in oxygen concentration to confirm the symptoms of COVID-19 in the baby.
The ongoing Covid-19 surge is taking a toll on children’s health with several hospitals reporting a sharp rise in the number of children between the age of one and five landing up in hospitals. Unlike last year, the virus is affecting infants, with some as young as one-and-a-half months old getting admitted to hospital. 2021, unlike 2020 is different for kids. In 2020, most children were asymptomatic and were rarely affected. But due to the high infectivity and simultaneous 3-4 strains in the country, a lot of children are getting infected.
Also Read: Do Children Need COVID Vaccine