If your kid is falling sick repeatedly then it could be the side-effect of Covid-19

If your child has battled Covid-19 and is facing prolonged side effects, it is natural to be worried. Experts share what you can do.
brain eating amoeba in children
Covid-19 has affected adults and children alike. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Published: 14 Aug 2021, 09:00 am IST
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The Covid-19 pandemic has left an indelible scar on our minds, and its impact is not only felt by adults but kids as well. Of those from various age groups who have gone through a bout of the virus, some have complained about facing long-term effects of Covid which is being dubbed as ‘long Covid’.  Children who have battled the virus are also coming back to hospitals with post-Covid symptoms like persistent headaches, fatigue, abdominal pain, gastric issues, heart palpitations, difficulty to sleep, muscle pain, loss of smell, and even Tachycardia (increased heart rate). This is leaving parents worried about how to deal with the children.

Also, read: Third wave is coming. Be ready to protect your child from Covid with these tips

Dr Kumar Salvi, Consultant Paediatrics & Neonatology, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital Vashi, and Dr Asmita Mahajan, Consultant Neonatology & Paediatrics, SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim, share some significant factors and symptoms to watch out for.

Risk factors for kids

Adolescents and teenagers may be prone to witness long Covid symptoms. Moreover, children with higher BMI or obesity are at higher risk of experiencing long Covid.  Initially, we were under the impression that long Covid can occur only in kids having acute infections. However, that has changed over time, and we see a lot of children with asymptomatic and mild infection also experiencing it. Having said that, it is important to note that kids experiencing such symptoms should be properly screened by medical experts, as many of these could be a result of mental health issues induced by the lockdown and pandemic.

side-effects of Covid-19
Your kid’s mental health also needs attention. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

There are studies that indicate that isolation and lockdown have resulted in mental health issues among kids, further resulting in headaches, fatigue, anger, misbehaviour, and similar issues. Parents and doctors need to ensure proper diagnosis of these health ailments.

Understanding Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C)

This is a cause of many long Covid issues in kids. MIS-C in children is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed. These include the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Many children with MIS-C had the Covid virus or had been around someone with the virus. When a child’s immune system reacts extensively to fight the virus in such cases, the immune system adopts in abnormal ways to fight the disease and that’s when organs start to get inflamed, causing MIS-C. 

MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children diagnosed with this condition have become better with medical care.

Signs and Symptoms of MIS-C in kids
  1. High-grade fever that lasts 24 hours or longer
  2. Vomiting
  3. Diarrhoea
  4. Pain in the stomach
  5. Skin rash
  6. Feeling unusually tired
  7. Fast heartbeat
  8. Rapid breathing
  9. Red eyes
  10. Redness or swelling of the lips and tongue
  11. Redness or swelling of the hands or feet
  12. Headache, dizziness, or light-headedness

Also, read: A doctor explains new guidelines to prevent kids from contracting Covid-19

Diagnosis and treatment of MIS-C

If MIS-C is suspected, a diagnostic or antibody test for Covid-19 can help confirm current or past infection with the virus, which aids in diagnosis and treatment.

side-effects of Covid-19
You need to be careful about your kid’s health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Tests you may be prescribed to check for inflammation
  1. CBC Blood tests
  2. C-reactive protein test
  3. Chest X-ray
  4. Heart ultrasound (echocardiogram)
  5. Abdominal ultrasound

Usually, supportive care for symptoms – medicine and/or fluids – are given to make your child feel better, to treat inflammation. Most children who become ill with MIS-C will need to be treated in the hospital. To treat this condition normally, Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) to improve antibody content or steroids in appropriate dosage is given. All these medications are given, and the children are kept under observation. Some children may need to be treated in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) if they are severely ill.

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The last word

Above all, prevention is always better than cure. Vaccinate your kids with the flu vaccine to reduce the impact of any viral infection. More so, follow COVID-appropriate norms at home and outside. Ensure that your kids stay hygienic and maintain COVID19 norms.

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