How to take care of children with Covid-19 – VnExpress

Parents prepare thermometers, nasal aspirators, physiological saline, antipyretics, vitamins, oresol…, practice counting breathing, and monitor children’s symptoms.

Items to buy

According to the instructions of the Handbook for caring for children with Covid-19 at home compiled by the Center for Tropical Diseases, the National Children’s Hospital and the Vietnam Young Doctors Association, parents need to prepare a number of items such as antiseptic water. or soap, a mask for children over 2 years old, a thermometer. If possible, prepare an SpO2 meter, phone with video call function to contact medical staff when necessary.

Prepared medicines include antipyretic with the active ingredient paracetamol, purchased both in sachets and rectal tablets to keep in the fridge, herbal cough syrup or lozenges to reduce cough for older children. Oresol powder pack, vitamin C, D, physiological saline and nasal aspirator. No need to buy ready-made antibiotics, antivirals, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulants, portable drugs, drugs with unknown labels…

Common problems

Children with fever, high fever

Monitor the symptoms of children, children fever is when the body temperature is higher than 37.5 degrees. At that time, parents need to loosen their clothes, wear light and sweat-absorbent clothes. Reduce fever with paracetamol. You can wipe (apply) your armpits and groin with warm water. Let the child drink more water, add milk, fruit juice, broth… Inform the doctor if the child has a high fever above 39 degrees Celsius even though they have taken antipyretic, the fever lasts for more than 5 days or has unusual signs.

Children cough, sore throat

Coughing is a reflex that helps protect the body’s airways. When children have less dry cough, can give herbal syrup or suck on candy with older children. When the cough symptoms increase, it is necessary to notify the doctor who is monitoring the child from afar, do not arbitrarily use cough suppressants, expectorants, and at the same time need to watch for signs of rapid breathing, difficulty breathing.

Children cough, runny nose

Nasal spray, nasal drops with physiological saline. Suction the nose after instillation or nasal spray, avoid nasal irrigation in young children. Notify your doctor for a prescription for medication to help relieve symptoms

Children vomiting, diarrhea

It is necessary to notify the doctor who is monitoring the child and taking oresol supplements. Do not arbitrarily use anti-emetics, anti-diarrheal drugs, antibiotics … without the direction of medical staff. You can also use probiotics available at home. Continue to breastfeed, eat normally, divide small meals. Always monitor closely for signs of dehydration, poor drinking, less urine, dry lips, sunken eyes, not drinking enough oresol.

Children eat less

Children can eat poorly for many reasons, parents should give priority to eating cold, liquid foods (when the child has a sore throat) and divide them into small meals, increase the number of meals with milk, porridge, fruit juice… Children eating and drinking very poorly, urinating less or reducing the number of times they urinate, the number of diaper changes, dry lips, skipping meals and breastfeeding should immediately notify the medical staff who are monitoring the child.

Baby rash (rash)

A rash can be a common symptom of a viral infection or a serious warning sign. Therefore, it is necessary to immediately notify the medical staff who are monitoring the child for evaluation, discrimination and treatment advice.

How to use medicine for children

Paracetamol or acetaminophen fever reducer

Can be used in the form of tablets, effervescent tablets, powder packets for oral preparation. Young children need to prepare rectal tablets, keep the refrigerator ready. Use medicine when the child has a fever of 38.5 degrees Celsius or higher. If the child has a history of febrile convulsions, use when the fever is 38 degrees Celsius or higher. Dosage 10-15 mg/kg/time every 4-6 hours if fever returns. Do not take lower or higher doses. The maximum total dose should not exceed 4,000 mg/day for older, overweight and obese children and 60 mg/kg/day for young children. With ibuprofen, consult your doctor before taking.

Do not arbitrarily use antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, only use when the doctor prescribes. Do not arbitrarily buy and use anti-virus drugs for Covid-19, anti-influenza viruses, drugs that do not come with blisters, labels, unknown content, portable drugs from abroad (without Vietnamese sub-labels).

Products that reduce cough

Prefer to use cough medicine with herbal ingredients. Honey should not be given to children under 12 months. Do not give medicines containing codeine to children under 12 years of age. Older children can suck on regular hard candy to relieve coughs. For expectorants, expectorants, and antihistamines to be used only with the advice and indications and follow-up of a doctor. Good hygiene of the nose and mouth, drinking enough water helps to reduce cough.

Vitamins C, D and Zinc

Supplement with vitamins C, D and zinc to help improve resistance, use according to the dose in the instruction sheet.

Oresol rehydration, electrolytes

Mix one packet of oresol powder with exactly the amount of boiled and cooled water indicated on the package about 200 ml or 1 liter, depending on the package. Drink each spoon or small cup, continuously, spread throughout the day depending on the degree of vomiting and diarrhea. The reconstituted solution should be used within 24 hours only. Do not use pre-mixed bottled varieties.

Medicines for the treatment of chronic diseases

Do not quit smoking, continue to take the medicine as prescribed by the doctor. With some special diseases, immediately report to a specialist for advice. Avoid overusing sauna, herbal steam, essential oils of all kinds, blowing the wind, especially with children under 2 years old.

How to count breaths

Let the child lie on the bed or horizontally on the arm (pay attention to count when the child is sleeping or lying well without fussing, not having a high fever), gently pull the shirt to expose the baby’s belly, put a stopwatch or phone next to it, eyes while looking at the clock and looking at the baby’s belly movement, the belly moving up – down is counted as one breath, so in exactly one minute, you can count 2-3 times.

Defining tachypnea is the way to detect pneumonia or respiratory failure in children. Children are assessed as tachypnea (rapid breathing) when under 2 months of age, the respiratory rate is higher than 60 breaths/minute. Babies 2-12 months old have a breathing rate of more than 50 breaths per minute. Children 1-5 years old have a breathing rate of more than 40 breaths/minute. For children over 5 years old, the respiratory rate is higher than 30 breaths/minute.

If SpO2 is being measured, a standard adult meter can be used. Warm hands and feet, comfort children when measuring, can use medical tape to fix, clamp the child’s finger or big toe to the meter. Read results in 1-3 minutes.

Wash nose – throat

Use physiological saline solution, sea salt water, 3% hypertonic saline, small bottle or nebulizer. Drop or spray the nose, then aspirate with the appropriate tool or instruct the child to blow their nose. Wash your nose and throat 2-6 times a day depending on the severity of the runny nose. Do not mix salt water yourself to wash your child’s nose and throat, avoid pumping and rinsing the nose at home.

Monitor for signs of serious abnormalities

Pay attention to the following abnormal signs to report to medical staff such as high fever over 39 degrees, difficulty lowering fever, poor feeding, vomiting and diarrhea, rapid breathing compared to age, lethargy or crying, sore throat, rash, chest pain.

Danger symptoms that need to be reported immediately and ready to go to the hospital include rapid breathing and chest indrawing or rising and falling of the nostrils in children under 2 years old, respiratory arrest, groaning or cyanosis of the lips; SpO2 index less than 94%, heart rate too fast or slow, lethargy, difficult to wake up or convulsions coma, stop feeding or vomiting a lot or can’t drink, urinating little or no urine, purple lips or purple tips of toes, feet cold hands, purple veins.

Le Cam


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