The Ayush Ministry has issued a detailed set of homecare guidelines for protecting children against Covid-19 as there was a spike in instances of children contracting virus during the second wave.
Though the immunity among the children is quite strong but with many mutant virus strains emerging, it is necessary to follow all protocols related to Covid-19 to prevent its effect.
Here are ten guidelines for protecting children against Covid-19:
• The guidelines stress on children washing their hands often and wearing masks while outside their house. The parents should offer a small reward if the child is not willingly wash their hands. • Face mask is mandatory for children aged 5-18, while for 2-5 years of age children, mask is desirable, under the parent's supervision. Non-medical or fabric three-layered cotton masks are preferable for children. • Children should stay at home in possible limits, avoid travelling outside, and they be helped to stay connected with friends and extended family members through video and phone calls. • Children with symptoms or Covid suspect should not be in contact with the grandparents as elderly are at very high risk of serious disease. • Parents should monitor the children for five warning signs — fever lasting beyond four-five days, decreased oral intake, child becoming lethargic, increasing respiratory rate and oxygen saturation dropping below 95%. • Children should be given lukewarm water to drink, ensure hygiene through proper brushing at morning and at night for children above two years of age, and oil pulling and gargles with warm water for children above 5 years of age. • Oil massages, nasal application of oil, and Yoga practices like Pranayama and meditation and other exercises as per 5+ year old child’s capacities should also be encouraged. • The guidelines also specify Ayurveda prophylactic measures and immunity-building solutions for children like turmeric milk, chawanprash and a decoction of traditional herbs (Ayush Bal Kwath), and Ayurvedic medicines for symptomatic children. • Children should also get adequate sleep and an easily digestible, fresh and warm and balanced diet. • There should be antimicrobial fumigation every evening at the children’s play area, cot, beddings, cloths and toys.