Protect children against COVID-19 pandemic – Parents advised

A Paediatric Nurse Specialist at the Weija/Gbawe Municipal Hospital (WGMA), Matilda Gyamfi-Addae, has advised parents and guardians not to be negligent with the COVID-19 safety protocols so as not to infect children.

According to her, although the virus barely infected children below 15 years, Ghana had recorded isolated cases of COVID-19 among such group and was important that adults adhered to the protocols to protect children.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, she said until more studies emerged on how the virus manifests in children, all COVID-19 preventive protocols ought to be applied by them.

“Younger children so far seem to have a stronger immunity against the virus but it is still better to protect them than expose them to it because we may not know the long term effect.

As much as the preventive measures are mainly for adults, it applies to children as well with the exception of those under two years which we do not encourage wearing of masks, it’s the responsibility of the parents, guardians, school authorities and the society in general to protect the others from getting infected,” she advised.

Ms Gyamfi-Addae advised that parents and guardians particularly looked out for signs including difficulty in breathing, nasal discharges, excessive cough, fever and weakness among children to immediately report at the nearest health facility.

“You should know your child very well; you should know when something changes with them and present them to the hospital for further investigations,” she urged.

Ms. Gyamfi encouraged good nutrition and hydration for children to build their immunity.

Turning attention to the school environment, MsGyamfi-Addae called on school authorities and teachers to institutionalise strict hand hygiene practicesto ensure adequate spacing and ventilation and reduced mass gatherings in schools.

“If it is possible the schools should have one exit and entrance when they can really monitor the inflow and outflow of children and at those vantage points put in place hand washing facilities so that they can monitor the inflow and outflow of the children,” she said.

“Managers of schools should have a time set during the day that hand washing is done by all students and should be a formulated ritual because the more they practice, the more it becomes part and parcel of them,” MsGyamfi-Addae, added.

The Specialist called for increased education on COVID-19 among school children through the use of visual and entertaining images to reduce stigmatisation and get them to conform to the protocols.

BY ABIGAIL ANNOH

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