COVID-19 in children: How to manage asymptomatic or mild cases in home isolation


In the second wave of the pandemic, many children are also being infected with COVID-19. As a result, parents are quite worried about how to take care of them when they are in home isolation.

In the wake of this, the Health Ministry has laid out some guidelines for identifying the level of severity of the infection and the required treatment for Covid positive children, especially when they are in home isolation.

Asymptomatic cases

According to the Health Ministry, asymptomatic children are usually identified while screening, if other family members are identified. Such children would require monitoring for the development of symptoms and subsequent treatment according to assessed severity.

Mild cases

Children with mild cases may show symptoms like sore throat, rhinorrhea or cough with no breathing difficulty. Few children may have gastrointestinal symptoms. They do not need any investigation.

Children who are asymptomatic or have mild COVID-19 infection can be managed with home isolation and symptomatic treatment, including those with underlying comorbid conditions like congenital heart disease, chronic lung disease, chronic organ dysfunction and obesity.

Treatment for mild cases

For fever: Paracetamol 10-15 mg/kg/dose, may repeat every four to six hours

For cough: Throat soothing agents like warm saline gargles in older children and adolescents

Fluids and feeds: Ensure oral fluids to maintain hydration and nutritious diet

Antibiotics: Not indicated

According to the Health Ministry, there is no role of Hydroxychloroquine, Favipiravir, Ivermectin, lopinavir/ritonavir, Remdesivir, Umifenovir, immunomodulators including Tocilizumab, Interferon B 1 a, Convalescent plasma infusion or dexamethasone.

Parents or the caregiver can maintain a monitoring chart for counting respiratory rates two-three times a day when a child is not crying, chest indrawing, blueish discolouration of body, cold extremities, urine output, oxygen saturation via pulse oximeter, fluid intake and activity level.

Besides, there should be regular communication with the doctor.

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