In June 2021, daily, we are inundated with dire predictions about a ‘third wave’. Social media is in a frenzy commenting on the threat to children, parents across India are rightly perturbed. Is this all hype and hoopla?
The honest truth is that no one, not the armchair epidemiologists, not the mathematical modellers, not the ‘big doctors’ from premier national institutes, not the savvy media pundit – No one can predict with any level of certainty, whether we will experience a third, fourth or fifth wave. Going by the experience of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, it is reasonably certain that we will definitely experience waves of unknown magnitudes, over the coming months, before life comes back to as close as we can remember it to be normal.
Now, what about the news snippets of the likelihood of our children being affected more in upcoming waves?
Well, children have been affected in the first and second waves too, and paediatricians have found that symptomatic infections are far fewer in children as compared with adults. And that the disease is also less severe. Undoubtedly, there have been cases of severe disease amongst children, however not at such an alarming rate to cause apprehension.
The Indian Academy of Paediatrics came out with a guidance statement on 22nd May 2021, which they have assured will be updated as and when new information comes to light. This statement is reassuring from the point of view that the apex professional body of paediatricians in India, has given evidence based statements in an easy to interpret format even for the non-medical individual.
Children benefit from the protection of their parents no doubt, however children still need to be guided suitably in fully adhering to COVID Appropriate Behaviour as applicable for adults, i.e. Masks, Hand Hygiene, Physical Distancing.
As a parent, if you are anxious about “MIS-C”, don’t worry, a future infosheet will address this suitably, next week.
COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) as applicable for adults is equally appropriate for children. With no vaccine available as yet for children, CAB is what will keep them safe.
Please do share the attached info sheet with your family, friends and colleagues. And do suitably translate and convey verbally to those around you who will benefit from it.
In case you need any additional info on any topic or theme, please connect with me directly.