COVID-19: UAE doctors urge parents to monitor children's health amid rising cases

Healthcare specialists also advise teaching kids to follow all precautionary measures

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Mother homeschooling her son during a virus outbreak.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Mother homeschooling her son during a virus outbreak.

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UAE - Healthcare specialists in the UAE advise parents to monitor their child's health considering the recent surge in Covid-19 cases. They also urge parents to teach children to follow all precautionary measures.

Dr Puneet Wadhwa, a specialist paediatrician at Prime Hospital, said: "Children must be taught to follow social distancing, sanitization and washing of hands with soap in the correct manner, wearing masks properly."

He also said that children should be strictly told not to mingle with those who show symptoms of disease.

"Teachers should take special care of children in school and isolate if a child shows any symptoms." Dr Wadhwa added.

Medicos also say that mild symptoms in children can be controlled with regular medicines.

"If the symptoms persist after usual medication, parents must contact the family physician and establish a diagnosis," said Dr Vinay Vyas, a specialist paediatrician at Prime Medical Center, Al Nahda, Sharjah.

Doctors say that children have stayed indoors for a long time, which may have lowered their natural immunity.

"Vaccination knowledge is very for parents, and vaccination doses should be given to children," Dr Vyas said.

Dr Vyas pointed out that covid and flu vaccination doses were necessary to boost immunity.

"Two doses of Sinopharm vaccine is approved for children above three year's and Pfizer vaccine can be given for children above five years with a booster dose after six months."

"For children who are taking the flu vaccine for the first time, two doses are advised from as early as six months of age, and for children taking flu for the second time, one dose is recommended," added Dr Vyas.

Dr Vyas also added that there should be a gap of one month between the Covid and flu vaccines. Ideally, the entire family should get vaccinated to prevent transmission of infection from parents or any other family members to children.

"Physical activity is important, and children must carry on with it by following strict precautionary measures," Dr Vyas added.

Parents should encourage children to have healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

They must also make sure their child gets enough sleep to boost immunity. The amount of sleep a child need varies by age, from 12 to 16 hours a day for infants to eight to 10 hours for teens. Parents can encourage healthy sleep by limiting screens and keeping to a regular schedule. For teens, devices should be shut off an hour or two before bedtime and preferably not be in the bedroom at night.

Additionally, emotional stress can be distressing and can lower children's immunity. Parents should spend time with their children and ask them if they are facing any problems in their day-to-day activities.

Finally, everyone in the family can take simple precautions to help stay healthy, such as frequent handwashing, covering sneezes, mask-wearing and avoiding sick people and crowded spaces.

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