Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a serious condition that appears to be associated with COVID-19. Even though the evidence base is weak on this new syndrome, the clinical evidence shows that many children with MIS-C are either infected with the virus or had close contact with a person infected with COVID-19.
Even though COVID-19 in children is usually mild, the available scientific information reveals that MIS-C is a rare but dangerous complication of COVID-19. The affected children have different organs in the body inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, skin and gastrointestinal organs.
Although there have been isolated reports of MIS-C around the world since April 2020, the emergence of such cases is a recent development in Sri Lanka.
It is important to note that some children may directly develop symptoms of MIS-C without showing any symptoms of COVID 19.
Therefore, Paediatricians urge that it is important to be aware of the following symptoms of MIS-C to identify the condition early.
• Abdominal pain
• Neck pain
• Skin rashes • Red eyes
• Unusual lethargy and exhaustion
The following symptoms are considered as warning signs of severe complications such as;
•Difficulty in breathing
• Tightening chest pain • Inability to wake up or stay awake
• Pale skin
• Severe abdominal pain
Paediatricians request that any child with such symptoms need to be taken to a hospital immediately.
Furthermore, amidst the prevailing conditions, we all need to be alert and take precautions so that our children are protected against COVID 19 infection.
An important fact to keep in mind is that even if one person within a household gets infected with COVID19, it increases the risk of the spread of the disease among everyone at home. So, you need to be mindful and reduce unnecessary travel as much as possible.
Individuals who have been completely vaccinated against COVID 19 can significantly reduce their risk of severe complications of the disease, but they may still contract and transmit the disease to others. So, it is essential to be aware of this and continue to maintain the preventive measures irrespective of the vaccination status.
To prevent your child from contracting COVID 19, teach your child how to wash their hands properly, how to wear a face mask accurately, how to maintain physical distance and how to cover their cough and sneezes. Make sure that they follow your instructions correctly Another important measure you can take to prevent your child from COVID 19 infection is to avoid taking your child to crowded places. Young children are more likely to be exposed to the virus as they tend to touch their noses, mouths and masks. Furthermore, children under the age of two years are not recommended to wear face masks or face shields. Therefore, to ensure your toddler’s safety keep them away from crowded places.
To keep your children safe, it is also essential to keep visitors at a minimum during this time, as children are at higher risk of infection with interactions and close contact with visitors. Your child may be unhappy due to the social restrictions imposed on their daily lives due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Try to keep them as happy and as active as possible at home. Learn about activities that you can do at home with your children, which can be fun and which also helps in their intellectual development. Also, create opportunities where your children can interact with their relatives and friends through the telephone or online platforms.
Being vigilant during these challenging times can help us stay safe and ensure the safety of our children as well.