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A group of children at risk of serious changes when infected with Covid-19 – VnExpress

Babies born prematurely, who are obese, or have congenital heart disease, thalassemia, etc. are at risk of becoming worse when infected with Covid-19, according to Dr. Nguyen Manh Cuong, a pediatric specialist, 103 Military Hospital.

Facing the complicated situation of the Covid-19 epidemic, the care and treatment of F0 children is a matter of concern to many parents. Doctor Nguyen Manh Cuong, Pediatric Specialist, 103 Military Hospital, offers some advice and guidance for parents if their children are infected with Sars-CoV-2.

Steps to take

According to doctor Manh Cuong, the first thing a mother needs to do is to notify the local health department when the rapid test or PCR is positive, the source of the baby’s infection, who becomes F1; SpO2 index and your child’s symptoms such as fever, fatigue, defecation…

Next, parents need to contact the primary counseling support doctor for children because children progress very quickly, so it is necessary to monitor, evaluate and observe in time. Covid-19 symptoms often overlap with common illnesses. In particular, for children who cannot speak or children who can speak but cannot clearly describe symptoms, it is very difficult for parents to detect.

In addition, the mother needs to buy fever-reducing medicine, Orezol according to the doctor’s instructions, supplement with herbs such as: perilla, onion, fresh ginger, lemongrass… If going to the hospital, the mother needs to prepare clothes, toiletries, medicine and Health insurance, a referral from your local CDC or clinic.

Doctor Nguyen Manh Cuong, Pediatric Specialist, 103 Military Hospital, currently treats children with Covid-19 and participates in counseling support for parents with young children who are F0. Photo: NVCC

Recognizing signs

To know if a child really has Covid-19 or just a common cold, parents need to:

Consider exposure history: Child has had contact with a case of Covid-19 or a history of close contact with suspected or confirmed cases in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms.

Test results: The baby was positive for Sars-CoV-2 virus by rapid test and Real-time RT-PCR technique.

Stages of disease onset

Typically, children will go through 3 stages including:

Onset phase (days 1-5)

Fever is usually as high as a viral fever (38 – 39 degrees Celsius).
– Fatigue, joint pain, headache (older children).
– In many cases, children show anorexia, poor appetite, and stop feeding, which is the main sign of a nursing baby.
– Dry cough or phlegm, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, runny nose, loss of taste, smell, red congested throat.
– Possible nausea and diarrhea; corneal congestion, rash, warm pink skin, vasodilation.

Stage of severe transformation (5 – 8 days)

– When the baby has a fever above 38.5 degrees Celsius, use fever-reducing medicine but it doesn’t lower it.
– Measure SpO2 < 96%. If the baby can't measure, the mother should check if the baby's lips are pink, the hands and feet are warm, the baby sucks for a long time or has to breathe?
– Manifestations of dyspnea: rapid breathing (children younger than 2 months: breathing rate > 60 breaths/minute; 2-11 months: breathing rate > 50 times/minute; 1-5 years old: breathing rate > 40 times/minute; older) 5 years old: breathing rate > 30 breaths/minute), intercostal muscle contraction, purple lips, cold limbs.
– Baby refuses to eat, anorexia, poor suckling.
– Baby has nausea, vomiting a lot, bowel movements > 3 times a day, loose or watery stools.
– The baby is allergic to drugs to treat Covid-19 symptoms.

Mothers need to immediately notify the pediatrician for timely support and guidance. About 2% of infected babies will have severe changes, babies with high risk factors such as:

– Babies born prematurely (under 37 weeks), low weight, not breastfed.
– Obesity, overweight, diabetes, genetic disorders genetic disorders.
– Congenital heart disease, chronic lung disease, neuropsychiatric diseases, systemic diseases.
– Blood diseases such as: Thalassemia, sickle cell …
– Prolonged use of corticosteroids.

Recovery period (7-10 days): Baby has no fever, eats well, plays well and sleeps well.

How to care and handle


– For children infected with Covid-19 with mild symptoms, they often play well, eat well, have no symptoms of shortness of breath, SpO2 > 96%.
– The baby may have a fever: When the child has a fever above 38.5 degrees Celsius, the mother warms the baby and takes antipyretic drugs according to the correct weight (10 – 15mg/kg of weight/time, the doses are 4-6 hours apart) .
– Baby has difficulty breathing due to nasal obstruction, reduced or lost sense of smell, mother drops the nose with warm salt water about 5-6 times and uses spray bottles like Otriven or Otrivin (according to the doctor’s instructions).
– Baby sore throat, red throat, mother can help baby clean throat with physiological saline, diluted honey or herbs (3-5 times/day).
– If the baby has a bowel movement, has a poor appetite, the mother can add probiotics and Multivitamins.

Parents can do gentle exercise for their children 15 minutes a day (older children). Children need to drink a lot of juices such as: orange, apple, diluted honey (children older than 1 year), orezol; feeding the child a lot of protein (an important factor in the immune system); fortified with minerals, especially vitamins C, D of group B and zinc.

Breastfeeding babies must continue to breastfeed and ensure that mothers do not cross-contaminate by wearing masks, goggles, and disinfecting hands quickly. The babies need to be treated at home or in an isolation facility under the supervision of medical staff.

Average level

– Baby’s SpO2 concentration 94% – 95%.
– Children can breastfeed and eat but less than every day.
– The baby has symptoms of pneumonia such as: rapid breathing, mild shortness of breath.

In this case, you need to contact your pediatrician immediately


– SpO2 concentration 90% – 94%.
– Children refuse to eat, eat poorly, stop sucking, play poorly.
– Children with severe pneumonia symptoms such as shortness of breath, purple lips, contraction of intercostal muscles.

You should immediately contact your pediatrician and the CDC in your area for admission.

To help their children win against Covid-19, Doctor Manh Cuong advises parents to always stay optimistic, calm and alert. When taking care of children, parents need to adhere to wearing masks; splash goggles; Limit touching your nose, eyes, mouth… to prevent cross-infection. People living together in the same family also need to prepare necessary medicines and equipment such as thermocouples, SpO2 meters, antipyretic drugs, Orezal… Everyone should supplement nutrition by eating foods that provide vitamins C, D, minerals such as green vegetables, fresh fruits… and improve physical strength by exercising daily.

Hai My


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