Covid in UAE: How parents can protect unvaccinated kids during the Eid break

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Parents should ensure that children are wearing a well fitted mask while going out. — Wam file
Parents should ensure that children are wearing a well fitted mask while going out. — Wam file

Abu Dhabi - Vaccinated adults urged to continue to comply with safety rules, which will ensure kids follow such norms


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Sat 17 Jul 2021, 6:08 PM

Last updated: Sat 17 Jul 2021, 6:23 PM

Parents need to take extra care of their children, especially unvaccinated ones, and strictly monitor them when going for outings during the Eid Al Adha holidays, medical experts have said.

Kids below the age of 12 cannot take Covid-19 vaccine yet and remain unprotected against coronavirus. Unfortunately, the Delta variant is mostly infecting the unvaccinated population. Authorities in Abu Dhabi have barred children below 12 from attending Eid prayers at mosques.

Ahead of the long holidays, Dr Kiran Krishnan, specialist paediatrician, Medcare Medical Centre, Discovery Gardens, Dubai, said the vaccinated adults must continue to comply with safety rules, which will ensure kids follow such norms.

“Parents and guardians should not be negligent during holidays even if they are vaccinated. They should behave responsibly and take precautions as it will protect the unvaccinated children too. The Delta variant is more infectious, but in general, children with Covid-19 are less likely to become seriously ill.”

Dr Krishnan said parents must focus on the proper usage of masks.

“Parents have to be extra cautious and see that children are wearing a well fitted mask. It must be properly worn, used, removed and disposed of. Parents must instruct and monitor children so that they avoid touching surfaces when they’re in public places and frequently sanitise their hands,” he added.

Dr Saheer Sainalabdeen, specialist pulmonology, Medeor Hospital, Dubai, said that infections among kids have been low but with detection of the Delta variant, parents must be careful.

“We haven’t seen many cases of infection among children. The Delta variant, however, targets the unvaccinated population. And kids below 12 years of age are still not eligible to receive the jab. So, there are serious reasons for parents to bolster their precautionary measures taken at home and outdoors.”

Dr Sainalabdeen said parents must avoid taking kids to crowded places.

“It is better for children below the age of three years to wear face shields when going out in public. Also, visits from family members, relatives and friends must be limited to those who are vaccinated. It is better that all people take a PCR test prior to a family gathering.”

Dr Sainalabdeen stressed on saliva or PCR tests if kids show any symptoms.

“If any child is showing Covid-19 symptoms, then parents must take the child for PCR testing. If a nasal swab test is not possible then they must opt for a saliva testing.”

Dr Krishnan added that if parents feel symptomatic then they must isolate themselves and go for screening immediately.

“Since primary transmission of Covid-19 to children largely happens within the household, if any parent or a family member has any new health issues, they shouldn’t take it casually thinking it’s just flu symptoms and climate change issues. They must isolate themselves and go for a RT-PCR test. Only once a negative result is confirmed should they engage with kids.”

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