Covid in UAE: When should parents not send their children to school?

Doctors have urged parents to get children vaccinated to avoid complications if a child tests positive


By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Tue 4 Jan 2022, 3:59 PM

Last updated: Tue 4 Jan 2022, 4:11 PM

With several schools in UAE opting for face-to-face learning, medical practitioners in the Emirates advise parents to monitor and keep track of children’s health.

Since children are largely asymptomatic, they have urged parents to observe children’s eating and exercise habits as well as allergies.

Dr Shahid Gauhar, Specialist Paediatrician and Neonatology, Prime Hospital, said, “If parents observe symptoms like poor spirit, lack of energy, or sleep, they should not send their children to school and consult their doctor. Watch out for their breathing pattern, appetite, and dehydration status.”

Dr Praveen Sreekanthalal, Specialist Paediatrician, NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi, said that if a child is observed with headaches, sore throat, nasal congestion and fever usually lasting for about three days during the present wave of Covid-19, home isolation is advisable.

“Parents should be advised not to send their child to school and get tested if they experience these symptoms,” Dr Sreekanthalal said.

Doctors have advised residents not to panic and that these symptoms do not mean that a child may be positive for Covid-19, but flu and weather change can also be the reason behind sickness.

“Covid symptoms are very similar to most of the viral infection in children apart from some specific presentation like Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-c),” Dr Gauhar said.

The MIS-c symptoms usually start in children with fever, cough, cold, sore throat, and pain, and headache. With the new wave, the doctors say that children are turning out to be Covid-19 positive, and most of them are symptomatic but not more than any other viral infection.

“Some kids get symptoms caused by inflammation throughout the body, sometimes several weeks after they were infected with the virus. It can affect many different body systems, including the lungs, heart, brain, kidneys, blood vessels, skin, eyes, and gastrointestinal system,” said Dr Mohamed Maki Shalal, Head of Emergency Department, Canadian Specialist Hospital.


Safety measures parents should follow

Healthcare specialists sent out messages to parents to teach kids all the safety measures that should be followed strictly.

Dr Sreekanthlal said, “Parents should teach their children to avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces. Educate children and caregivers to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth. Practice social distancing from people who don’t live with the family.”

Doctors have urged parents to get children vaccinated to avoid complications if a child tests positive for Covid-19.

“If your child gets vaccinated, the vaccine could prevent him or her from falling severely sick or experiencing short-term or long-term complications,” said Dr Shalal.

Dr Gauhar added that vaccines should be given to all the children in UAE. “We are lucky that the UAE government is doing its best to vaccinate children above three years who are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine."

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