Ways to keep children safe and calm during this time

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The Omicron variant of Covid-19 has once again induced panic among people, especially among parents. Use these tips to keep your kids safe and calm.

The fears regarding the third wave of Covid-19 have been talked about since a long time, but they are more palpable ever since the Omicron variant emerged. In India, over 20 cases have been reported so far. And even while the case count may not seem alarming, the concern about the transmissibility of this variant cannot be ignored. Due to the surge in cases of Omicron and the unavailability of vaccines for kids in India yet, parents have every reason to feel the panic.

Is Omicron a serious concern for children?

Recently, in an Instagram live session with actor Neha Dhupia for her parenting initiative Freedom To Feed, Dr Nihar Parekh, Pediatrician, Director, Cheers Child Care, Kemp’s Corner, said, “At the peak of the deadliest Delta (variant) wave in India, we did okay with kids. So I see no particular reason to be extra scared for kids. I would not really do much but maintain good hygiene.” 

Make sure you help your child follow Covid-19 protocols. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

He adds, “Let’s be doubly triply sure about the safety protocols in vaccines and children because the disease per se is not that scary or deadly in children so far. They’re (the vaccines are) almost there and we are very confident and we should be rolling it out in the next month or two.”

The truth, according to the expert, is that this virus will find a way to coexist and one can expect more and more mutations in the future, just as it has happened in the past.

Dr Parekh adds, “So I would predict, and I want to tell every parent that please do not change your lifestyle in the fear of the Omicron. Keep following the Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. If the schools have opened up, there’s a lot of research that has gone into a lot of local data assessment by the local municipality and the government who have taken individual calls.”

Precautions that parents need to take for their children

The least and maybe most that you can do is to take precautions for your kids’ sake. Dr Jagdish Kathwate, Consultant Neonatologist and Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, Pune, has shared some tips for concerned parents, through HealthShots:

1. To keep children safe and calm, make sure that they adhere to the Covid-19 protocols of masking, social distancing, and hand sanitizing.

2. Do not touch the eyes, nose, and mouth after touching the disinfected surfaces. 

3. It will be imperative for you to wash your hands from time to time.  

4. Try to give your children a well-balanced diet that contains all the essential nutrients. 

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5. Do not let your children be around sick people. 

6. Avoid traveling abroad with your children. 

7. Get your children vaccinated for flu each year. 

8. Avoid going to crowded places with your children. 

9. It will also be a good idea to avoid attending social gatherings and parties with your children. 

10. If your children showcase symptoms such as scratchy throat, extreme tiredness, or mild muscle ache, consult a doctor. 

11. If you have any of these symptoms, you need to isolate yourself from the child. 

12. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as faucets, kitchen countertops, furniture, doorknobs, and handles. 

13. In case, parents are required to travel in an emergency during these unprecedented times with their children, they need to ensure they follow the Covid-19 protocols. 

Parents, stay vigilant but also calm about your children’s health!

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