Connect with us

News Pick

Rise in COVID-19 cases: Here’s how to protect your child

A pulmonologist and mother talks about the early signs that parents should watch out for



Image for representation purposes only

COVID-19 cases have been rapidly rising in the country once again. Amid widespread infection, how do parents keep children safe, especially when they are outdoors or at school?

“Amid rampant H3N2 influenza cases, a sharp rise in COVID cases has resulted in double trouble,” says Dr Meenu Kumari, interventional pulmonologist and critical care specialist, consultant, QRG Super Speciality Hospital & Heart and Lungs Centre. “As for influenza, the number of cases detected among children is almost 10 in 100. Parents should therefore have a discussion with their kids, especially with the younger ones, to make sure they follow all precautionary dos and don’ts whether they are in the house or outside.”


Dr Kumari, whose child Dhruv studies at Apeejay Svran Global School, Faridabad, suggests parents watch out for symptoms like dry cough, runny nose, mild fever, body ache, throat ache, and joint pain. “Parents must monitor their child’s health from time to time. Avoid sending children to school if they have any of these symptoms so that other kids are not affected. Even a single mild symptom could be an important warning sign,” she says.


Parents should make sure their children take the following precautionary steps:

1.       The child should wear a mask when they step out. It could be a cotton or surgical mask but not N95.

2.       The child should stay hydrated. He or she should drink water after every period (which is about 30 mins) in school.   

3.       Add citrus fruits to your child’s diet. They can carry a fruit each day in their lunchbox.

4.       Children should avoid sneezing openly in the classroom. They should always cover their mouth while doing so.

5.       They should maintain hand hygiene by washing their hands with soap and water or sanitising frequently.

6.       Kids going to play with friends should be given pocket sanitiser that they can carry in their bags and use frequently.

“If a child is feeling unwell, he or she should be immediately taken to the medical room and parents should be informed so that they can take the child home,” Dr Kumari emphasises.


Not just children and their parents, but even the school staff should be vaccinated including caretakers, who are also susceptible to infection, Dr Kumari advises. Influenza vaccine is a must for kids—tetravalent vaccines are available for the new variant. In 2022, the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) also approved the emergency use of two COVID-19 vaccines—Corbevax and Covaxin—for children between 5-12 years of age.  

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

The Musical Interview with Anamika Jha