What to do if your child get sick with COVID-19
If your child has COVID-19 symptoms, then seek medical advice as soon as they start to feel unwell, even if symptoms are mild.
If your child has COVID-19 symptoms, then seek medical advice as soon as they start to feel unwell, even if symptoms are mild. If your doctor says it is safe to care for your child at home, parents may read this guidance on necessary equipment, how to monitor and care for your child, from the Ministry of Health of Viet Nam.
NECESSARY PREPARATION FOR HOME-BASED TREATMENT
1. Necessary items at home
- SpO2 Pulse Oximeter for personal use (if any);
- Medical mask;
- Means of hand hygiene: such as soap, hand sanitizer, etc.
- Necessary personal items;
- Container with lid for infectious waste.
- Means of communication: Phones, phone numbers of medical facilities (health stations, district health centres, emergency transportation centres, doctors, community counselling teams, rapid response teams, hospitals, etc.).
2. Medicines for home-based treatment
- Antipyretics: sufficient for use within 3-5 days: Paracetamol for children (depending on weight and age: powders or granules for suspension or tablets with content of 80mg, 100mg, 150mg or 250mg, 325mg, 500mg).
- Electrolyte replacement: Oresol, rehydration packs or other electrolytes.
- Cough suppressants (depending on symptoms): Herbal medicine or stand-alone cough suppressant or cough suppressant combined with antihistamine, etc. for about 5-7 days.
- Nasal drop: Sodium Chloride 0.9%, sufficient quantity for use within 5-7 days.
- Medicines for treatment of underlying conditions according to prescriptions (if necessary, for 01-02 week (s).
Make isolation space. The isolation place shall have good ventilation, no central air conditioner; windows should always be open.
MONITORING COVID-19 INFECTED CHILDREN’S HEALTH
1. Children under 5 years old
a) Monitor signs, including: mental signs, breastfeeding/ eating; measure body temperature at least twice/day, breathing rate, pulse, measure SpO2 (if an SpO2 meter is available), skin colour, mucous membranes, digestive disorders.
b) When any of the ABNORMAL SIGNS is detected, it is necessary to immediately notify the facility that is managing the COVID-19 infected child at home or take the child to the nearest medical facility for timely medical examination and treatment:
(1) Mental health: children are withdrawn, find it hard to wake up, or have convulsions.
(2) Continuously high fever of above 39◦C and it is difficult to lower body temperature by antipyretic medications or a lukewarm washcloth. The fever does not reduce after 48 hours.
(3) Children have faster breathing rate according to their age:
- Children under 2 months old: ≥ 60 times/minute;
- Children from 2 to 12 months old: ≥ 50 times/minute;
- Children from 1 to 5 years old: ≥ 40 times/minute.
(4) Children with abnormal breathing symptoms: dyspnoea, nose flaring, retraction of the sternum, intercostal retraction...
(5) SpO2 < 96% (if an SpO2 meter is available)
(7) Dehydration: dry lips, sunken eyes, thirst, little urination…
(9) Drinking, eating and breast refusal
(10) Children with underlying conditions such as: dengue fever; hand- foot-mouth disease….
(11) Any abnormal symptoms in children that require medical examination and treatment
2. Children from 5 to 16 years old
a) Monitor signs, including: Mental signs, measure body temperature at least twice/ day, breathing rate, pulse, measure SpO2 (if an SpO2 meter is available), skin colour, mucous membranes, eating and drinking, cough, chest pain, stomachache, diarrhoea, loss of smell, hearing loss.
(b) When any of the ABNORMAL SIGNS is detected, it is necessary to immediately notify the facility that is managing of the COVID-19 infected child at home or take the child to the nearest medical facility for timely medical examination and treatment:
- Rapid breathing rate: Children from 5 to under 12 years old: ≥ 30 times/minute; Children above 12 years old: ≥ 20 times/minute
- Abnormal breathing: retraction of the sternum, intercostal retraction...
- SpO2 < 96% (if an SpO2 meter is available)
- Continuous cough
- Chest pain
- Drinking/eating refusal
- Fatigue, being withdrawal from interaction
- The high fever does not reduce after 48 hours
- Any abnormal symptoms in children that require medical examination and treatment
MEDICATION FOR HOME-BASED TREATMENT
1. Antipyretic medication in case temperature is 38,5◦C or above or the patient has severe headache:
- Children: Paracetamol with a dose of 10-15 mg/kg (orally or rectally administered), or according to age in case the child’s weight is not known; repeat after at least 4-6 hours in case the fever still persists.
+ Note: the total dose shall not exceed 60mg/kg/day.
+ Guidelines on Paracetamol dosage for children according to age (only use in case of unknown weight – Calculation of a paracetamol dose in children should be based on body weight).
Under one year old
1 pack x 4 times/day
From 1 to under 2 years old
1 pack x 4 times/day
From 2 to under 5 years old
1 pack x 4 times/day
From 5 to 12 years old
1 tablet x 4 times/day
Above 12 years old
1 tablet x 4 times/day
2. Electrolyte replacement in case of dehydration (due to high fever, diarrhoea, fatigue):
- Encourage the COVID-19 patient to drink a lot of water, juice or Oresol (use according to instructions). If the persons do not want to drink Oresol, they can drink cooled boiled water or juice.
- Do not use industrial soda (that is not produced from fruit) for rehydration.
3. Eat nutrient rich food, fresh fruits and vegetables.
4. Use symptomatic medication (if necessary):
- A lot of cough: It is possible to use herbal cough suppressant, stand-alone cough suppressant, or cough suppressant combined with antihistamine, etc. The indications, contraindications and warnings/ precautions while using the drugs must be noted.
- Nasal congestion, runny nose: nasal sprays, nasal drops with Sodium Chloride 0.9%.
- Diarrhoea: microbial products beneficial to intestines (probiotics), digestive enzymes.
5. People who are being outpatient treated for underlying diseases: continue to use the prescriptions per instructions.
6. Other medicines: antiviral drugs… used when indicated and prescribed by medical staff.
- Do not use antiviral drugs, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, etc. without any indication or prescription.
- Steam therapy is not recommended for children.
EATING DIET AND DAILY ROUTINES
- Drink water frequently, do not wait until getting thirsty to drink water;
- Eat nutrient rich food, fruits, drink juice... Do not skip meals.
- Take rest.
IMPLEMENTATION OF INFECTION PREVENTION MEASURES
COVID-19 infected persons and caregivers or people living in the same house with the infected persons shall take infection prevention and control measures:
- It is necessary that COVID-19 infected persons limit going out of the isolation room as much as possible, and not leave the house. When leaving the isolation room, they must wear a mask and keep distance from other people in the house.
- Caregivers or family members living in the same house always wear masks and keep distance when they have to come into contact with COVID-19 infected persons.
- The isolation place should be kept well ventilated, the use of difficult-to-clean items (stuffed animals, paper, paperboard, etc.) should be limited in this area.
- Wash or disinfect hands frequently. Disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces such as tabletops, door knobs, hand-held devices, toilets, sinks, etc. on a daily basis and when they get dirty.
- Classify and collect infectious waste per regulations.
Source: Decision No. 604/QD-BYT dated March 14, 2022 of the Ministry of Health on promulgating the “Guidance on home-based management of people infected with COVID-19”