COVID-19 is a brand new virus that became very famous, very quickly! In short it’s an illness that affects the airways and lungs of its victims. Because it’s a brand new virus, we as mothers and caregivers have so many questions and we can’t help but to feel anxious about the lack of concrete information we currently have regarding the implications of the virus on our kids.
First of all mama, just take a deep breath. You and your kids are going to be okay. Being a mommy myself, I was hungry to find much needed answers to calm my thoughts. Yes, of course we have faith…yes, of course we trust God, completely… and yes we pray like only mothers can. But we need to be informed so that we can make wise decisions regarding our children and ourselves.
Luckily, one of the best paediatricians, Dr. Maretha Combrink ties together all the knots on questions mommies might have during this uncertain time.
1. Can babies also get infected with COVID-19?
Yes, people of all ages can contract the virus.
2. How do I know that my child might be a victim of COVID-19?
Symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhoea have also been reported.
3. Should I be concerned about my child contracting the virus?
No, there’s no reason to panic as the symptoms in children are usually mild.
4. As there is no cure or vaccine yet, which vitamins are crucial to boost my child’s immune system?
Vitamin C and Zinc supplements are currently the only supplements that have a proven role in improving the immune system.
5. What are the steps that should be taken when my child shows suspected coronavirus symptoms?
Contact your doctor/paediatrician and mention that you suspect COVID-19, they will facilitate the process to get tested. Alternatively contact the NICD (South Africa) on 0800 029 999, alternative numbers include 082 883 9920 / 066 562 4021.
Dr. Combrink’s advice to parents whether you’re in lockdown or not:
- Contact your doctor immediately to arrange testing. Manage your child’s symptoms at home if mild and avoid contact with other people. The rest of the household will also not be able to attend work or other activities until the test results become available.
- Avoid air travel at this time.
- You have to practice strict infection control to prevent passing the illness to other people that are more vulnerable.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. (Signs such as difficulty breathing, lethargy, inability to feed etc).
- Use a separate room and bathroom for sick household members (if possible).
- Clean hands regularly by handwashing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean the sick persons room and bathroom and avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person, such as bed sharing etc.
- Avoid sharing personal items like utensils, food, and drinks.
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