New York: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), leading authority on childhood health and care took up the important discussion of the unique presentation of COVID 19/ new Coronavirus illness in children.
The California, chapter 2 of the AAP, held a virtual town hall on June 11th to address various issues that have impacted the health of children and delivery of paediatric services in the region.
The town hall feature was an invited talk by Dr. Akshat Jain, an authority of COVID 19 blood disorders and pediatric hematology, on the practical aspects of understanding this new disease “COVIDOPATHY” and bringing practicing pediatricians in the region up to date on early identification , prompt diagnosis and best practice and treatment guidelines for this unique disorder of children.
Special among the guidance for pediatricians and public alike is to be on a lookout if a child develops high-grade fever (38 degrees Celsius or 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for children), a rash, swollen hands and feet, red eyes, swollen lymph nodes and red, swollen or cracked lips, mouth, throat, and tongue, etc.
Help of the pediatrician should be sought immediately to identify the cases earlier as prompt and early treatment leads to full recovery in children in most cases and delay on the other hand can lead to life-threatening cardiac complications. Treatment with medications called immunoglobulins and supportive care in a hospital setting is needed.
Special populations of children with chronic diseases like Type 1 diabetes, sickle cell anemia, pediatric cancer, and other blood disorders are immunocompromised and are furthermore at risk for COVID infection and its effects. Special precautions with social distancing measures and hand hygiene are needed around such patients, more than ever. Always consult your primary care doctor and specialist for the latest guidance and management strategies that are constantly evolving as more information comes in.
Dr. Jain is a native of India but now lives in California. He is the Section Head of Inherited Bleeding Disorders and Hemoglobinopathies Program, Faculty Department of Pediatrics & Clinical Medicine at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, California.