HeathcareCOVID-19 in children: The warning signs that we should...

COVID-19 in children: The warning signs that we should not ignore

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A large number of new cases are registered every day due to the third wave of COVID-19 in the country. In this context, although there are still few, infections have also been recorded in children. For this reason, it is important to take into account the warning signs that indicate that a child with COVID-19 is getting worse and wants to be seen by a specialist.

The two years of the pandemic have taught us that cases of covid in children and adolescents are usually mild or moderate and even asymptomatic. However, there is a group that is at higher risk of complications due to the virus and may end up in a hospital. These are minors with chronic diseases, those who have immunosuppression, organ transplants, obesity, diabetes, or some respiratory system disease such as asthma, among others.

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Whether we have a child considered healthy at home or one who has some comorbidities, the general recommendation is to monitor the symptoms, after confirming that the child has COVID-19 or has been in close contact with a positive case. A contact of this type occurs when the child was less than a meter and a half from a positive person, without a mask and for more than 15 minutes.

What symptoms do children have? They usually include fever, cough with phlegm, nasal congestion, loss of taste or smell, skin changes, sore throat, among others.

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These symptoms can be controlled at home after consultation with a doctor. Recommendations include analgesics, rest, and plenty of fluids. And it’s important to have a pulse oximeter and thermometer at home. Most children and adolescents who have symptoms recover in one to two weeks.

But there is a group that can get worse and it is necessary to monitor some warning signs that may indicate that the minor needs to be taken to a hospital immediately. These are, according to the Mayo Clinic, the inability to wake up or stay awake, shortness of breath, sudden disorientation, pale, gray, or bluish skin, lips, or fingernails, and severe stomach pain.

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The experts consulted by El Comercio warn that the main warning signs in children If the child has a fever of more than 38 degrees for more than 72 or 96 hours and cannot sit properly or needs help to get up, he must be taken to an emergency a health center to receive specialized care.

“The main warning sign is persistent fever, in addition to muscle weakness. These are the symptoms that connote greater severity. We are talking about fevers that exceed 72 to 96 hours in children and progressive muscle weakness. There may be general malaise, there may be weakness when moving due to inflammation, but when this is progressive, for example, if the child can no longer sit properly, he needs help getting up, and that is an alarm sign that we do have What to evaluate in a specialized center”, explains to El Comercio the infectologist José López Revilla, from the San Borja Children’s Hospital.

In addition, the specialist explains that there are difficulties in keeping children isolated in their homes: “In children it will be a little more difficult to maintain [el aislamiento] because they need adult assistance, more so if they are young children. But, given the suspicion that we have an infected child and that vaccination is already available, the ideal would be to keep the child in a surveillance state at home. If you don’t develop symptoms within 38 to 72 hours after known contact, you should get vaccinated. Having had contact with a positive case at home is not a restriction for vaccination.” adds the also professor of the Scientific University of the South.

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