As we reach what seems to be the end of the deadly second wave of Covid-19 in India, several recovering patients stare at a long haul of dealing with persisting symptoms — now being defined as ‘long Covid’ by doctors. In light of the situation, News18 will run a 15-day series ‘Decoding Long Covid‘ where doctors with different specializations will address concerns, recommend ways to deal with them, and suggest when to seek help.
In today’s column, Dr Shreya Dubey who works for the department of paediatrics and neonatology at the CK Birla Hospital in Gurgaon talks about the long covid symptoms to watch out for in children.
Dr Dubey told News18, “The second wave of Covid-19 has seen a rise in infection in children. The number of kids having Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS) is also on the increase. Although there is a paucity of data on the long Covid symptoms in children, several case reports have suggested that children can also have persistent symptoms like adults.”
Long Covid symptoms in children include fatigue, poor appetite, chest pain, headaches, body aches, dizziness, sore throat and difficulty in concentrating.
Dr Dubey pointed out that proper rest and adequate hydration are the main pillars for recovery during long COVID. Therefore, instead of burdening children with studies or co-curricular activities, if they manifest long COVID symptoms or complain of fatigue, they should be taken seriously.
“Breastfeeding is strongly recommended for babies less than six months old, who have recovered from COVID. Good nutrition with fibre, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and protein also helps in quicker recovery. Some breathing exercises for older children can prove to be beneficial as well,” she explained.
The doctor added that since the phenomenon of long covid, especially among children is still very new, there is a lot of trepidation among parents about the symptoms, and it has been observed so far, that each child may experience different symptoms. Some of the lesser common symptoms are, “brain fog, coughing, joint pain, rashes, allergies, tummy ache, itchiness, cold hands and feet, and insomnia.”
“No symptom should be underestimated, and it’s always advisable to consult with a paediatrician if the symptoms are persistent,” said Dr Dubey.