New Covid guidelines for children: Experts on wearing masks, steroids, six minute walk test


As per the brand new guidelines for Covid administration in kids launched by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), kids aged 5 years or much less should not required to put on masks. Those within the age group of 6-11 years could put on a masks “depending on their ability to use a mask safely and appropriately under the direct supervision of parents or guardians”. Previously, kids solely beneath two years of age weren’t wanted to put on masks.

Dr Sudip Chowdhury, guide paediatrician, Columbia Asia Hospital, Palam Vihar, Gurugram, stated, “Face masks can be safely worn by all children two years of age and older, including most with special health conditions, with rare exceptions. Children should not wear a mask if they are under two years old, because of the risk of suffocation. Also, anyone unconscious or unable to remove a face covering on their own should not wear one.”

The guidelines additionally state that kids above 12 years of age ought to be handled like adults and should put on masks.

Dr Neha Singh, guide, Pediatric Hematoncology and BMT, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram nevertheless said that “anyone can wear a mask when they need to be near other people”. “A mask is an extra way to stop germs. Some people might wear a homemade cloth mask. Masks remain a simple but powerful tool to protect against Covid-19, especially for children too young to get the vaccine yet. Until a child is fully vaccinated against Covid, they should continue to wear a face mask and keep a safe physical distance indoors around people they don’t live with or who may have the virus. Anyone unvaccinated should also wear face masks outdoors in large group settings or when physical distancing isn’t possible,” she advised

It should be famous that kids ought to be given face masks that shouldn’t have any metallic elements and attachments, talked about Dr Singh.

Antimicrobials to be administered if there’s proof/sturdy suspicion of superadded bacterial an infection states the guidelines. (Source: Pixabay)

But why has the age of wearing masks been elevated from two to 5 years?

“The probable cause can be that children playfully pull it down the nose and mouth, or are not able to maintain mask hygiene which makes them prone to catching the virus. Whereas children about five or above tend to start understanding instructions,” stated Dr Amit Gupta, senior guide pediatrician and neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida.

Meanwhile, the guidelines additionally state that kids beneath the age of 18 years shouldn’t be given Remdesivir for remedy of Covid-19. DGHS additionally prohibited using antimicrobials for treating the an infection as they haven’t any position within the prevention or treatment of viral infections like Covid-19. The guidelines, nevertheless, point out that “antimicrobials to be administered if there is evidence/strong suspicion of superadded bacterial infection. The child may need organ support in case of organ dysfunction.”

Dr Srikanta J T, guide – paediatric pulmonology, Aster RV Hospital, Bengaluru stated, “Antimicrobials are not recommended for children unless severe infection happens. Mild and moderate infections can be relieved with paracetamol. In fact, The Indian Academy of Paediatricians, Karanataka Chapter came out with a clear guideline of what to do and what not to do, and this is what has been echoed by the new guidelines,” he advised”

Agreed Dr Gupta who stated that the guidelines have been issued within the wake of “irrational use of steroids, and irrational panic for Remdesivir”. “Steroids should be used at the right time, in the right dose, and for the right duration. Self-medication of steroids must be avoided,” stated Dr Gupta.

Another pertinent side has been the six-minute walk test for kids if mother and father concern that the kid has the an infection.

“It helps to assess cardiopulmonary exercise tolerance and is used to unmask hypoxia. Place a pulse oximeter to the child’s finger and ask them to walk in the confines of their room for six minutes continuously,” talked about Dr Gupta.

The six-minute walk test is simply advisable for kids of and above 12 years of age. It turns into vital if there’s a drop in saturation of greater than three % or pulse oximeter studying falls beneath 94 %, stated Dr Vinit Samdani, pediatrician, Bhatia Hospital Mumbai.

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