By Dr. Erik Fleischman –
Most of the focus so far about COVID-19 infections has been on our older population (of which I am officially one by age!). But, let’s talk about the other precious beings in our homes: the kids.
Anyone who is helping with homeschooling now has gotten to know their children far better than they did two to three weeks ago. We live for them, we focus on them, we would take a bullet for them. But, what can we do to keep them safe and sane?
Here are some facts about COVID-19 and children:
- A study done in Wuhan of 171 infected children show that 35% of them had laboratory confirmation, while 64% were diagnosed only by suspicion and their symptoms. 25% of these children had no symptoms.
- Older children seemed to recover faster and have less severe infections than younger children. Why is this? It is not yet fully known but, likely due to a different immune process or the fact that older children can produce antibodies more quickly and in more volume. Remember, it’s these antibodies that not only protect you from getting the disease again but, also make the disease go away more quickly.
- Children, while still getting the classic symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath, also seem to have more upper respiratory symptoms such as sinusitis and runny noses. This can possibly increase their ability to spread the virus as there will be more droplets in secretions.
- As with adults, the secret to preventing infection or getting the mildest infection possible is a strong immune system. For children to have this, they need to be eating a balanced diet with lots of protein. Limit the sugar. Viruses, bacteria and fungus all grow on sugar. If they don’t have sugar they will not flourish. Give your children Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Minerals. Make sure they are getting some safe sunshine and exercise to keep their circulation good and their brains clear.
We are all in new territory with this virus. Our children may not grasp the severity of this epidemic and that is probably okay for now. In the next post, let’s talk about how to explain this epidemic to children and how to help them cope.
Stay safe. Stay at home.