As doctors and medical experts across the globe continue to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on young children, so far reports have pointed to the fact that children were largely spared from the complications of the novel coronavirus and they rarely develop serious illness from the disease.

Elaborating on how coronavirus affects the kids, Dr Lakshmi further underlined, “Some theories suggest that children do not have the A2 receptor, which is what SARS-CoV-2 needs to spread to the lower respiratory tract. In children, this is not developed, so the infection is largely in the upper respiratory tract.”

Outdoor sports equipment has been in high demand since kids have been out of school and recreation opportunities have been limited due to COVID-19. Families are finally able to get out of the house to enjoy the beautiful summer weather. Remember, the best way to have fun and enjoy being outside, is to do it safely, not only to avoid pain and injury but to keep
healthy kids out of emergency rooms and centres.

While there have been reports of a possible connection between the coronavirus infection and a new pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome reported in children in US, UK, France, Italy and Spain, the association between the two still hasn’t been clearly understood. So far studies have found that children are less vulnerable to the novel coronavirus when compared to the adults.

“Covid-19 is not affecting many children and even if it did, hospitalisation was not seen in a majority of the cases,” said Dr Lakshmi Vedprakash, consultant neonatologist and paediatrician, in an interview with the New Indian Express.

Even though most kids may not get very sick from the novel coronavirus, those who get infected may battle new pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome, which is a serious and life-threatening illness. This is precisely why it is important to closely monitor symptoms of coronavirus and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Some of the most common symptoms of MIS-C include:

  • High-grade fever
  • Abdomen pain
  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • Rash

Even though MIS-C is still very rare in children, delayed diagnosis can prove to be life-threatening. It is important to watch out for any symptoms of hyper-immune system response in children (especially if they have been exposed to novel coronavirus) as the disease may progress very quickly.

Which is the best type of mask to protect your kids from COVID-19?

Barring the availability of a vaccine or a definite treatment, masks are our best form of defence against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Not only can wearing a mask reduces the risk of transmission, but it can also lower the spread when a sick person wears it, as per the study. While different types of masks offer different levels of protection, N95 masks were once considered to be the most supreme ones. However, a government advisory warned the public from using N95 masks with valves. The recent advisory brings back the focus on what really is the best kind of mask to prevent coronavirus risk?

  • What is the problem with N95 masks

N95 masks come fitted with a disk of plastic, known as a ‘valve’ in the fabric
which is meant to filter out air and support breathing. They were predominantly used to fight out allergies and pollution, as they provide a person with quality air to breathe. However, during COVID-19, the valves provide very little support and can make matters worse.

  • Here is why

Since N95 masks help take out the bad air a person breathes, it can spell
trouble if it is used by someone who is infected by COVID-19 (symptomatic or asymptomatic). Since unfiltered, virus-carrying air is released in the
environment, it becomes easy for someone to transmit and spread the infection onto others. This is especially problematic if a person is asymptomatic. The centre issued guidelines for the public, stressing on the fact that N95 masks with one-way valves do not stop COVID-19 transmission: “It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N-95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of coronavirus as it does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask. I request you to instruct all to follow the use of face/mouth cover and prevent inappropriate use of N-95 masks.”

  • The alternative

Using a surgical or a cloth mask (made at home, or bought) can also protect
you from the novel coronavirus. While respirator masks were considered to be the best kind of masks, surgical masks can have loose gaps which can let in microbes and germs. FFP1 masks are considered to be the next best alternative to a respirator mask and are more tightly fitted around the nose and the mouth, offering up to 95% protection.

  • How to use masks for best protection

There are several different types of masks available in the market. A good
mask that offers protection from the virus would be the one which fits you
well, covers the nose and the mouth and is non-porous. Make sure the mask
you have does not have any loose ends which could provide an entry point for virus to enter. Avoid touching the mask, or removing it to talk.

  • It is important to dispose off mask well

If masks are not discarded off properly, it multiplies the risk of infection
through surface areas and also contributes to the rising problem of ‘plastic
pandemic’, which is another issue the world is facing. Central Pollution Control Board recently issued some guidelines to ensure proper disposal and reduce chances of infection with masks and other protective gear. According to newly issued guidelines, used masks and gloves should be kept in paper bags for 72 hours and cut/shredded before they are discarded. Such a measure will also reduce the chances of reuse. Measures for safe disposal of other types of protective equipment as well any other contaminated products were also issued. While the board advised the usage of reusable masks to reduce environmental burden, it should be noted that masks must be used effectively, as per their make. One-time and disposable masks should be safely disposed off and not reused. Reusable masks should be sanitized and disinfected before every use. Masks and face coverings should also never be shared between people.

How to help kids adjust to wearing a mask

Wearing a mask is critical to slowing the spread of covid-19 but getting a child to wear a face mask may be tricky. They may be afraid, feel self-conscious, or feel a mask is too uncomfortable. Here are some ways to adjust your child to wearing a mask.

What kind of masks do children need?

You’d never send your first grader to school wearing your high schooler’s pants and the same is true for your child’s face covering. For a mask to be effective, fit is key. Look for face coverings that are specifically sized for children. Your child’s mask should cover their nose, mouth and chin and fit snugly but not tight. Ear loops can be easier than ties for young children. Kids are unlikely to keep their mask on if it is uncomfortable. If it’s too big or too small they are more likely to touch their mask to make adjustments and reposition it, which could also increase the risk of infection.

How can you help your children wear a mask?

Help your child feel more comfortable with wearing a mask by;

  • Using simple words to explain, why people are wearing masks. For example, try saying, “we need to wear a mask to help keep people from getting seek.”
  • Making mask-wearing fun. Let your child participate in choosing, making, or decorating his/her mask.
  • Letting your child see you wear your own mask.
  • Maintaining a positive attitude around mask-wearing.
  • Answering your child’s questions in age-appropriate terms.

Some of the best products to protect your kids from COVID-19;

  • Covid protection kids cap from KidsHifive

This is the COVID protection kids cap from kidshifive brand, the brand who recently launched this attractive product to the market which has gained many positive responses by the customers within a very less period of time after its launch. This cap is to protect your kids from COVID-19 which is made with detachable shield to protect your kids from pollution and COVID-19.

  • Organic cotton masks for kids from kidsHifive

100% organic cotton masks made for your kids’ safety and for the convenient and comfort of their soft skin. These masks have more safety features like filter inside mask, easy to wash & use, which is available in two sizes-small and medium for the perfect fit for your kids so there is no need to adjust the mask time to time.