New Delhi, Aug 21: With children under 18 being one of the large vulnerable and unvaccinated groups, it is crucial to keep them extra protected from being exposed to the many variants of the Covid-19 virus.
According to Jeeson C Unni, Consultant Paediatrician, Aster Medcity, Aster DM Healthcare, children are as vulnerable to the novel coronavirus as adults. Studies have shown that infection and transmission in children and adults are similar.
"Even though most children have asymptomatic or mild infections, they are an important source of transmission to others. Severe infections and mortality have frequently been reported in young infants and children with comorbidities, largely post 3-6 weeks of asymptomatic or symptomatic infection."
Here are tips to keep children protected in these times:
1. As many Indian states reopen schools and invite children back to the classroom, it is crucial to remember to behave in a Covid-appropriate manner at all times. While excitement may run high at reuniting with friends and classmates after over a year, children must remember to socially distance as much as possible. If you want to, simulate a classroom at home, let your siblings or parents be your classmates, and practice following all protocols. It is also important to not share lunch, water bottles and other edibles. Try to wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds every hour.
2. Masking is extremely important. It is important to mask up always, and have a mask with a snug but comfortable fit. New masks, like the one made by Keeo Life, use a unique combination of anti microbial coating which uses organic extracts. These components, when mixed in a controlled environment and further applied to the mask's surface, provide a shield against the SARS- CoV-2 by trapping these viruses on the surface and killing it.
3. Covid-19 has made sanitization awareness a universal thing. Whether going out with friends to play, or with family, or to school or coaching, children must carry individual sanitisers with them. Remember to use it every 20-30 minutes if you are touching other surfaces frequently.
4. As soon as vaccines become available for the population under 18, don't hesitate and sign up for a slot at the earliest. Meanwhile, it is always better for all adults in the family to vaccinate themselves, since children can be carriers of the virus as well, even if they are asymptomatic. It always helps to give children their regular flu shots and vaccines for other diseases on time.