Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep, and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.
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TV actor Nakuul Mehta’s 11-month-old son Sufi has fought Covid-19 recently. It’s high time we raise the gaurds for ourselves and for our little ones.
While we were waiting for the new year with bated breath, it has given us quite a shocker! Over the past few days, the surge in Omicron cases, a new variant of Covid-19 has raised an alarm, and we are back to feeling anxious. We have already known the impact of the virus on people across age groups, but certain instances in the recent past have also made us realize how babies are at a high risk of contracting the infection.
TV actor Nakuul Mehta’s wife Jankee Parekh Mehta recently penned a note on Instagram, speaking about the struggles of her 11-month-old son Sufi, after he was diagnosed with Covid-19. Here’s what she wrote, “While most of you may know that my husband tested positive 2 weeks ago, I also got the symptoms a couple of days later. I thought not attending my sister’s wedding was the worse that Covid-19 could do to me, not realizing that what I was about to experience in the coming week were to be the hardest days of my life, yet.”
Her son Sufi started to develop fever the day after she tested positive, and it refused to reduce, despite water sponges and medication.
Jankee added, “We rushed him in the middle of the night to the hospital, when his fever crossed 104.2 and what followed were very hard days in the Covid ICU with my baby boy. My fighter went through it all. Right from being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, to him getting pricked 3 IVS, a bunch of blood tests, RTPCR, bottles of saline, antibiotics, and injections to get his body temperature down. Sometimes, I wonder how did this tiny human get so much strength to face all of it?.”
His fever finally broke after 3 days.
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Are babies at a higher risk of Covid-19?
Although Omicron is said to have high transmission levels, its symptoms are said to be milder than other variants. But in no way does that mean we let our guards down! Unfortunately, babies cannot even get vaccinated or wear masks, which is what makes them more risk-prone too. But is the virus quite common among babies?
Also, read: Covid-19 third wave scare: Here’s how to protect your child
Dr Anil Batra , Pediatrics, Madhukar Rainbow Hospital, tells HealthShots, “Covid-19 is not very common in babies to date, but the incidence is going to rise as we are seeing a spike in cases over the last few days. Yes, it will be riskier because children are not vaccinated, and have low immunity as compared to adults.”
How can the Covid-19 infection be prevented?
Since babies are highly vulnerable to infections, Dr Batra recommends parents to exercise more caution. “Adults should get themselves vaccinated and avoid coming in contact with children if they have any symptoms. Maintaining social distancing and avoiding social gatherings is going to help,” he adds.
Also, read: Covid-19 cases are rising. Boost your immunity with these 5 kadhas
In the case of kids aged 2 years and above, they must wear a mask, when in public places, as per Centre for Disease control guidelines.
As per Dr Tushar Parikh, Consultant Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, Pune, “There is a small risk of suffocation in smaller children who are unable to remove the mask, so they should be in adult supervision when wearing a mask. Children should not wear a mask when playing sports or doing physical activities, such as running, jumping, or playing on the playground, so that it doesn’t compromise their breathing.”
Besides that, these are the Covid-19 safety protocols for children:
- Make sure that your child follows a well-balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, pulses, and wholegrain as it will help him/her boost immunity.
- Avoid spicy, oily, and junk food.
- Make sure that your child is not around sick people. Cover your child’s mouth while coughing or sneezing.
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