So far, it was being said that the third wave may affect the kids more than the adults.
After the latest AIIMS study, it is being said that the third wave may not affect the kids more than what it did now if the virus continues to behave the same way.
During the second wave, not more than 2 to 3 percent of children required hospitalization.
Less than 1 percent went on to have severe disease
either due to COVID per say or due to MIS-C.
It is predicted that even if the 3rd wave ends up affecting the kids more, not more than 5 percent would require hospitalization. So, what I would say to parents is, do not worry or panic, but be prepared.
If the parent is prepared, the child would be safe even if the 3rd wave ends up affecting the kids more than what the second wave did. If the 3rd wave doesn’t end up affecting the kids severely, we are happy anyway!
So, how do the parents need to prepare themselves?
1.The parents need to empower themselves with the right knowledge about First Aid for fever, seizures, vomiting and diarrhoea
2.They need to be thorough with the symptoms of COVID and MIS-C.
3. They need to be proactive in testing for the virus, and in reaching out to the pediatrician at the earliest
4.They need to thoroughly understand about the danger signs and take the child to the emergency as needed without wasting time.
5.They need to get all the adults in the family vaccinated against the SARS CoV2 virus, and also get the children vaccinated as and when the vaccine becomes available for them.
6.They need to continue with the COVID appropriate behavior irrespective of their vaccination status.
7. It is recommended to create social bubbles, and keep the children within the social bubble, thus allowing them to have a decent interaction with a limited circle of people.
8. It is recommended to get children, the seasonal flu vaccinations. There are some studies which say that the Flu vaccine may protect against the Corona virus because of something called the ‘viral interference’, but there is no robust evidence for the same at this point.
So, as of now the parent needs to plan for the Flu vaccine keeping in mind that the Flu vaccine protects the child from Flu only. Flu has symptoms and complications similar to that of COVID in many ways, and so preventing Flu will at least avoid any confusion that we may have when the child develops cough, cold and fever, to a great extent. Also, the hospitals can atleast be spared of admissions due to Flu related complications.
9. The parents also need to understand that medicines like Azithromycin, Doxycycline, Ivermectin, Favipiravir etc have absolutely no role in the treatment, at least as far as children are concerned, and that unnecessary use may cause problems for the child.
10. The parents have to understand that herbal medicines, the so called immunoboosters, use of vitamins without proper guidance from the pediatrician, steam inhalation, camphor inhalation/ingestion and instilling oil in the nose can prove to be dangerous, with no actual benefit at all!
A parent who is empowered with the right knowledge will reach the child to the right doctor/right hospital at the right time. A parent who is only worrying all the time, without preparing herself/himself is likely to make more mistakes and deprive the child of the right treatment. Be an empowered parent!
Dr Sivaranjani Santosh
Dr Sivaranjani Santosh is the chief consultant pediatrician at Magna Centers,Film Nagar and a visiting consultant at Rainbow Hospitals.
She has done her MBBS and MD pediatrics from JIPMER. She was consultant Pediatrics at Apollo, developed and headed pediatrics at The Birthplace and Maxcure Suyosha.
She is very passionate about preventive pediatrics, FIRST AID awareness, parent education programmes,encouraging and supporting moms for breast feeding, and helping new parents through the early days of parenthood. Through her You Tube channel Dr. Sivaranjani’s Easy Health, she is working strongly towards empowering our people with the knowledge about FIRST AID and the ability to handle emergencies.
She is constantly working on building health awareness through parent education programmes, community activities and through her social media channels.
Her commitment towards patient care has ensured respect in pediatric circles and a strong patient base which includes kids of many celebrities.
She has written many news paper articles and given many talks on television about Pediatrics.
She has authored a book (Baby and Child Care), which is a comprehensive guide to new parents about various baby & child health related concerns.
She has organized successfully many CMEs. She won TOI Rising Star award in Pediatrics in the year 2017, Grand Queen’s leadership award in the year 2020, and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam award in the year 2021. She has 16 years of experience as a full fledged Pediatrician.
Of late, she has been very proactive in raising awareness about COVID, and had been quoted in/had written about COVID in the TOI, NDTV,Deccan Chronicle, Sakshi, Andhrajyothi, The Pioneer, and You & I.