How to check if your baby or toddler has flu or Covid-19 as schools slowly reopen

Winter is here, and schools are reopening, so it is important to know what a common cold looks like versus Covid-19.

Covid-19 has taken the world by storm and it is hard to think of little else at the moment. New parents already have so many things they worry about when they welcome a new baby into their lives – on top of that, protecting their baby from the coronavirus has now been added to the list.

Here’s how to protect your baby from Covid-19:

Covid-19 is a novel virus, meaning that our information and knowledge is ever changing. It is important to try and stay informed on what new statistics and studies reveal. According to a recent South African Emergency Medicine report, children tend to be more asymptomatic than adults, and are not the super spreaders we originally feared them to be.

Covid-19 symptoms: 

The symptoms of Covid-19 in babies and young children are not very different to that of any other respiratory conditions in a baby or young child.

General signs and symptoms include:

  • A high temperature
  • Not feeding well
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny nose
  • Upset tummy or nausea
  • Cough and more severely shortness of breath
  • A non-specific rash

Also read: How to take the sting out of injections for kids

When to worry

Most children can be cared for at home. If you suspect your child to have Covid-19 or to have had contact with a positive case, and their symptoms are mild, you should contact your GP or paediatrician telephonically. If your child’s condition worsens, you should take them to the nearest hospital.

It is important not to delay routine baby checks and vaccinations. There is an increasing concern that parents won’t present an unwell baby to a medical facility in fear of Covid-19.  Remember there are still other illnesses around and prompt medical care of an unwell child is important.

How can I protect my baby or young child from Covid-19?

  • By socially distancing yourself, wearing a cloth mask in public spaces and washing your hands regularly, you are already ensuring protection for your baby or child.
  • Breastfeed your baby to build up their immunity.
  • Make sure your toddler follows a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Supplement with Vitamin C and Zinc to boost your child’s immune system.
  • Use a household cleaner or wipe to clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that your baby or child touches often.
  • Teach your child not to touch their eyes, nose, or mouth and to regularly wash their hands.

Pippa Hime

Pippa is a Registered Professional Nurse and trained as a Registered Midwife at Chris Hani Baragwanth Hospital. She has extensive experience in all things baby related with a special interest in preparing couples for the exciting journey of parenthood as well as supporting them in the weeks that follow the birth. She and her husband Richard are the proud parents of Becca age 6 and Tom age 4. Pippa has a comprehensive private clinic service that includes Childbirth Education classes, a Well Baby Clinic including Immunization as well as Post Natal and Lactation support. With over 5 years of running a private clinic facility and raising 2 children Pippa comes with a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience of parenthood. Learn more about Pippa Hime



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