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Pinoy Pedias: How To Protect Your Child Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases In Kids
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  • Parents in the country are worried over the rising cases of COVID-19 in children. News and parent groups are buzzing about it, especially with the more infectious Delta variant in the Philippines, and the lack of COVID-19 vaccines available for kids.

    Even so, children who are hospitalized due to the virus usually don’t need extraordinary measures, says the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP), through a media conference last August 12, 2021.

    Entitled “Updates on COVID-19 in Children,” the media conference echoed the joint statement of the two groups released last August 9. Stating rough numbers sourced from select COVID-19 facilities in Metro Manila and in Zamboanga, it showed that yes, there are rising cases in children, but it’s an increase in all age groups, and it’s primarily because of the ongoing Delta variant.

    “Children contribute a smaller number of severe COVID-19 cases and deaths than adults,” says Dr. Mary Ann Bunyi, PIDSP President. “in terms of disease severity, COVID-19 tends to be more severe in children with underlying medical conditions,” Dr. Bunyi adds.

    The number of children contracting COVID-19 may be different than what the PPS and the PIDSP have, though. Their numbers are data passed on to the groups from PIDSP members from eight hospitals serving as COVID-19 facilities.

    Dr. Maria Carmela Kasala, chair of the Public Relations Engagement System Services Committee of the PPS, say that the statistics that are being presented are those children who are hospitalized. This leaves those who have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, and who have opted to do homecare instead, unaccounted for.


    What can parents do to protect their kids?

    Despite children not being allowed outdoors, they can still become a carrier or contract the virus. PPS and PIDSP offer the following tips to keep our kids protected.

    Stay on track with your child’s vaccinations

    Global experts agree that kids may need the COVID-19 vaccine more urgently than ever. At the moment, the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use for children by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration is Pfizer

    While we await approval, it’s important to keep your children healthy to keep them from being immunocompromised or develop comorbidities, which would make children and adults alike more prone to COVID19.

    Dr. Fatima Gimenez, chair of the Committee on Immunization of the PPS, says the Philippines has had a drop in vaccine confidence even before the pandemic. This drop makes children 5 years old and below, whose immune systems are still developing, vulnerable to diseases.


    Get your household vaccinated

    Creating a “cocoon” around your household, wherein all adults are vaccinated while the children remain unvaccinated, may be one of the most effective strategies that you can do to protect your child from getting the virus.

    Use the news to take action

    It is stressful for any parent to see children hospitalized due to COVID-19 in the news. And while it is important to stay informed, process that knowledge through action.

    Since the Delta variant is more infectious, take your safety precautions at home to the next level. Double down on disinfecting your home, any packages or deliveries that come in, and follow the “Apat Dapat”:

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    • A – Air circulation and ventilation
    • P – Physical distancing one meter or more
    • A – Always use face mask and face shield
    • T – Time of interaction should less than 15 to 30 minutes 

    If anyone in your household is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, it’s best to get the RT-PCR test at the required timeframe, to get the most accurate results possible. (Read the most common symptoms of COVID-19 in children here.)

    Go to sources you trust

    As what Dr. Gimenez stated in her presentation, keeping kids safe is something we can do together. “Practice mutual respect for each other’s expertise. Always contribute to working for the common good, and let’s do our part in rebuilding a nation for our children’s children.”

    Click here for more ways to protect your kids against COVID-19.

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