Impact of Omicron variant on children; how to manage children with cough & cold, and those with COVID19 infection showing the same symptoms?
~Authored by Dr Jesal Sheth, Senior Consultant-Paediatrician, Fortis Hospital, Mulund~ Omicron Variant of the novel coronavirus has been called a variant of concern by the World Health Organization. We have seen several growing cases in India
~Authored by Dr Jesal Sheth, Senior Consultant-Paediatrician, Fortis Hospital, Mulund~
Omicron Variant of the novel coronavirus has been called a variant of concern by the World Health Organization. We have seen several growing cases in India and around the globe. When the previous variant Delta appeared, we had noticed a shift in reported symptoms as compared to COVID-19. Cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, persistent sneezing, sore throat along with a headache and cough had become more common. The omicron variant too has been showing similar symptoms and continuing the trend set by delta.
Data on the Omicron is currently emerging as it’s a new variant. The spread of the Omicron virus among children is still higher than during the previous waves. As per the data by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 672 children on average were admitted to hospitals every day with COVID-19 during the past one week. This variant mainly has an effect on the upper respiratory tract and children tend to have higher upper respiratory tract infections as compared to adults making them more vulnerable to the various agents in the air.
Here’s how you can manage children with cold and cough:
- It is important to keep your child hydrated it helps them reduce cold and flu symptoms and makes them feel better. There is a possibility that your child might not feel thirty as normally as they would, but it’s important to encourage them to drink plenty of fluids.
- Vapour rubs are an alternate popular treatment. The vapour rubs can be applied to the chest and back. Don’t apply it directly to the nostril area. It can provide temporary relief.
- If your child has the symptoms of a cold, cough, runny nose that persists for more than 1 to 2 days. It’s best to show them to a pediatrician and get them treated at the earliest. There is a lot of misconception going around and confusion between normal flu, COVID-19, and the other variants, it’s best to visit a doctor and treat them at the earliest.
- When it comes to protecting children, we know wearing masks is one of the ways we can prevent them from any variant infection affecting them. Parents along with their children should continue to wear a mask properly and follow all hand hygiene protocols.
- Avoid crowds of people, be it indoors or outdoors. Its best to stay indoors for you and your kids and to step out only in case of emergency if your kid has any symptoms.
- It’s important for parents to stay calm too. Parents’ anxiety can be sensed and understood by young children. It is important that parents try and understand how to react to stressful situations and work on their anxiety by staying focused rather than getting overly concerned thinking about worst-case scenarios.