Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Telltale signs for COVID in children

James Kon

As the Omicron wave sweeps through the Sultanate, children too are catching the infection.
In a Ministry of Health (MoH) statement on ‘Children with COVID-19 Infection’ released yesterday, the ministry explained that COVID-19 is an illness caused by coronavirus, called SARS COV-2. It causes flu-like symptoms and spreads easily, affecting people all over the world, children included.

The common symptoms are fever (temperature above 38C), cough, runny nose, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, extreme fatigue, muscle ache and diarrhoea or vomiting. The symptoms can be more serious in some, while other children may report zero symptoms.
When infected, most children will experience mild symptoms that can be treated at home.

It is vital that the child continues to have a healthy diet, consume plenty of fluids and rest. It is required to isolate the child at home, and not to have visitors over. Family members should practice frequent hand-washing and use hand sanitisers.

Both parent and child (if over two years old) must wear masks whenever in close proximity.
With regard to treatment, the MoH said most children with mild illness will not need specific treatment. They will be able to recover at home, usually taking one to two weeks.

Managing a child’s fever is no different from treating other viral infections. For a child above three months of age, paracetamol can be administered at the recommended dosing and intervals.

If the child becomes progressively unwell and shows “several features”, parents or guardians must seek medical advice by calling 148.

The features include persistent fever for two days or more, drinking less than half the usual amount, having four or less wet diapers with a 24-hour period, fussy and not as active as usual, persistent vomiting or diarrhoea, or looking unwell.

In the event of a life-threatening situation, such as a child appearing pale or blue, having trouble breathing or breathing extremely fast, or experiencing severe pain or discomfort, parents must immediately contact 991.

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