Risks Of Transmitting COVID-19 Among School-Going Children And Precautions
"As the nation plans on reopening the schools and colleges, nearly after a year-long lockdown, fear is digging deep roots among the parents as they are concerned about their children being exposed to a larger crowd and being infected. Is this really a matter of such deep concern, or do children get infected faster? You’ll find out here along with some other safety measures that need to be followed by school authorities and parents."
Prevalence Of Infections And Transmission Among Children
Children infected with SARS-CoV-2 are less likely to develop severe complications as compared to adults and the elderly. The majority of children do not develop any symptoms or develop a very mild form of the disease when infected by the virus. However, children with compromised immunity, an underlying chronic condition, or infants (children below 1 year of age) are at a higher risk of developing severe illness and complications when infected.
There are not enough valid evidence to suggest that children or educational settings are the primary drivers of SARS-CoV-2 virus transmission. However, there are some studies that show children may not be affected by the disease, but can spread the virus to others while carrying the infection. Therefore, it is essential to take all the necessary precautions to not contribute to the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases.
Essential Measures To Prevent The Spread Of Infection In Schools
Before sending children back to school, parents and school authorities must look into precautionary measures to minimize the spread of the virus. School authorities must ensure physical distancing in the classrooms, improved ventilation, school sanitation, compulsory use of masks especially for teachers and secondary students, provision of regular hand-washing & sanitizing, etc.
While the parents must emphasize on respiratory etiquettes and other social behaviors that can mitigate the spread of the virus.
What Should Parents Do If Their Children Become Ill?
If your child becomes ill and shows the symptoms of COVID-19 such as cough, fever, fatigue, body-ache, etc. you must follow the local public health guidelines and ensure that your child is home quarantined until the symptoms disappear, or until your healthcare professional advises otherwise.
Do not send your child to the school even if anyone in your vicinity has been diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19. They themselves may not be infected but may be the carrier of the virus and infect others. They can return to school after being home quarantined for at least 14 days.
Responsibilities Of The Schools When Someone Is Tested Positive
If anyone is tested positive for COVID-19 in the school, the authorities must immediately notify the local health officials, along with identifying and managing those who have had close contact with the infected person.
Dr Srinivasa Charry
Consultant – Internal Medicine
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the organization.