March 24, 2023

covid: ‘Masks not recommended for children 5 years & under’: Govt issues revised guidelines for kids | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Union health ministry on Thursday issued revised Covid guidelines on use of drugs, masks for children amid Omicron scare in the country.
These guidelines are dynamic, and will be reviewed and updated, on availability of new evidence, the ministry stated in the ‘Revised Comprehensive Guidelines for Management of Covid-19 in Children and Adolescents (below 18 years)’.
“The available data from other countries suggests that disease caused by the Omicron variant is less severe; however, there is need for a careful watch, as the current wave evolves,” it added.
Here are the revised guidelines:
– Use of antivirals or monoclonal antibodies is not recommended for children less than 18 years of age, irrespective of the severity of infection.
-According to the guidelines, Covid-19 is a viral infection and antimicrobials have no role in the management of uncomplicated Covid-19 infection.
-For asymptomatic and mild cases, antimicrobials are not recommended for therapy or prophylaxis.
-For moderate and severe cases, antimicrobials should not be prescribed unless there is clinical suspicion of a superadded infection.
– In case of septic shock, empirical antimicrobials, according to body weight, are frequently added to cover all likely pathogens based on clinical judgement, patient host factors, local epidemiology and antimicrobial policy of the hospital.
– Steroids are not indicated and are harmful in asymptomatic and mild cases of Covid-19.
-Self-medication of steroids must be avoided.
– Masks are not recommended for children aged 5 years and under.
– Children aged 6-11 years may wear a mask depending on the ability of child to use a mask safely and appropriately under direct supervision of parents/guardians.
– Children aged 12 years and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults.
– Ensure hands are kept clean with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub, while handling masks.
Post-Covid care
– Children with asymptomatic infection or mild disease should receive routine childcare, appropriate vaccination (if eligible), nutrition counselling, and psychological support on follow up.
– For children with moderate to severe Covid, at discharge from hospital, parents/caregivers should be counselled regarding monitoring for persistence/worsening respiratory difficulty and explained the indications for bringing the child back to facility.
– Children who develop any organ specific dysfunction during hospital stay or subsequently should receive appropriate care.

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