- Masks are not required for children under the age of five: DGHS
- Children above the age of 12 must wear masks just like adults.
- Remdesivir should not be used to treat children.
The need for masks in children under the age of 18 is clarified in the most recent guidelines for Covid management in children. The guidelines, issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), also provide parameters for Covid-related tests and medication in children.
Masks are not necessary for children under the age of five, according to the revised requirements. Those aged 6 to 11 years may wear a mask if they can do so safely and appropriately under the direct supervision of their parents or guardians. Children between the ages of 12 and 17 should wear the masks in the same way as adults do.
Remdesivir should not be given to children under the age of 18 for the treatment of Covid-19, according to the guidelines. Antimicrobials are also not allowed to be used to treat the infection because they have no role in the prevention or cure of viral infections like Covid-19, according to the DGHS.
In asymptomatic or mild cases of Covid-19 in children, the guidelines advised avoiding taking steroids. Steroids could be given under tight supervision for children who are moderately or critically unwell. Self-medication with steroids was strictly prohibited under the guidelines.
It’s important to note that steroids prolong viral shedding, therefore they should be used with caution, according to the DGHS’s Covid guidelines for children. It also included anti-coagulant dosage recommendations.
To screen for oxygen levels and indications of hypoxia in children, the recommendations suggested a 6-minute walk test with a pulse oximeter.
“Ask the child to wear a pulse oximeter on his or her finger and walk for 6 minutes in the confines of their room. Positive test: any drop in saturation below 94 percent, or an absolute drop of more than 3–5%, or feeling unwell (lightheaded, short of breath) while performing the test or at the end of the 6 minutes; children with a positive 6-minute walk test may develop hypoxia and should be admitted to the hospital immediately (for observation and oxygen supplementation),” the document stated.
For patients with uncontrolled asthma, the test is not recommended.
It also suggested that in situations of severe Covid sickness, oxygen therapy should be started right away, fluid and electrolyte balance should be maintained, and Corticosteroid’s therapy should be started.
It also advocated for the prudent use of high-resolution CT (HRCT) scans in children, advising doctors to use caution when suggesting chest CT scans for younger patients.
Steroids should only be given to hospitalised moderately severe and critically ill COVID-19 patients under intensive monitoring because they are dangerous in asymptomatic and mild Covid cases.
“Steroids should be used at the correct time, in correct dose, and for the correct duration,” the guideline adds.
Experts believe that steroid abuse is to be blame for the country’s Mucormycosis (Black Fungus) spread.