Hyderabad: With the threat of a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hanging over the country and amid fears that children will be hit the most this time around, doctors have called for a balance between security and academics.
Since classroom education is crucial for children’s emotional growth, doctors have warned that if children continue to be kept away from face-to-face classes, it could lead to the next obesity pandemic, oppositional defiant disorder, neurodevelopmental problems, autism and ADHD.
While older sections of the world’s population were hit the hardest at the start of this pandemic, it is speculated that young people could be infected in the coming days.
Few educational institutions see positive cases for Covid among students, but they have not become hot spots for the spread of infection.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also said around the world that no educational institution has been found as a hotspot for Covid infection. An important thing in favor of children is that most of them are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and do not have a long term impact as in the case of adults.
Doctors at various health care facilities believe that while it is true that Covid-19 is likely to wipe out populations, especially sections that are not vaccinated against it, children cannot be kept away from academics and other social factors that ensure their emotional feeling. growth as well as the intellectual advancements they would make by learning in a classroom or among peer groups.
âFor over a year, children have been kept away from full-time academics, and without returning to the usual routine of attending physical classes and interacting with their peers, children could experience a certain void in their life. It is very important that young children spend quality time with their peers, which will ensure that they develop social skills and experience emotional growth. Although safety is the top priority, a child’s intellectual development is just as important, and this cannot be achieved by limiting children to their cocoons, âsaid Dr Parag Shankarrao Dekate, Director of Pediatrics and Head of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, KIMS Hospitals.
âChildren with health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and asthma may be at higher risk of getting serious illness with a Covid-19 infection. Even children with congenital heart disease, genetic diseases, or diseases that affect the nervous system or metabolism could also be at higher risk of getting serious illness from this virus. It is very important to ensure that these children are more protected until the world goes through the risk of this pandemic, âsaid Dr Srinivas Chary, medical consultant, Aware Gleneagles Global Hospital.
Commenting on the risks of the virus among the younger population, Dr Prayaga Jyothsna, consultant pediatrician, SLG Hospitals said that, like their parents or grandparents, children can also get sick from Covid-19 infection, and there are a greater number of cases being reported daily now.
“The advent of the Omicron variant of the new coronavirus could only worsen the situation of our population. However, we notice that the younger generations, especially those who still attend schools and colleges, do not fall as ill as the adults Many children may not have any severe symptoms of Covid-19, and this can be attributed to the high immunity of the former, “said Dr Jyothsna.
There are other respiratory viruses like rhinovirus, adenovirus, influenza, parainfluenza, respiratory syncytial virus which are endemic and spread in the community like the common cold and most children are affected by this as well, but they come out in a few days, without any complications.
Parents and school principals must ensure that all safety protocols are followed, if necessary, they organize physical classes for school and university departments.