It's not safe to leave children at day care: They could be spreading coronavirus at home

Masks, disinfection and social distancing are needed, even for children.

iStock
Kids can bring the germ home and infect others.
NEW YORK: Children who caught the coronavirus at day cares and a day camp spread it to their relatives, according to a new report that underscores that kids can bring the germ home and infect others.

Scientists already know children can spread the virus. But the study published on Friday by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention "definitively indicates - in a way that previous studies have struggled to do - the potential for transmission to family members," said William Hanage, a Harvard University infectious diseases researcher.

The findings don't mean that schools and child-care programmes need to close, but it does confirm that the virus can spread within those places and then be brought home by kids. So, masks, disinfection and social distancing are needed.


And people who work in such facilities have to be careful and get tested if they think they may be infected, experts said.

Earlier research from the US, China and Europe has found that children are less likely than adults to be infected by the virus and are less likely to become seriously ill when they do get sick.

There also was data suggesting that young children don't spread the virus very often, though older kids are believed to spread it as easily as adults.
ADVERTISEMENT

In the new study, researchers from Utah and the CDC focused on three outbreaks in Salt Lake City child care facilities between April and July. Two were child-care programmes for toddlers, and the other was a camp for older kids. The average age of kids at all three programmes was about 7.

Coronavirus Can Get Children Worried: Here's How To Have The Talk
1/7

In the wake of coronavirus, several schools and colleges have been shut in many parts of the world to contain the spread of COVID-19. As public awareness and conversations around the novel virus increase, the situation can get the children anxious and worried for their family members and friends.



Parents, family members, teachers, healthcare professionals and trusted adults play a significant role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate and minimise their fear or anxiety.



Dr Sreenath Manikanti, Senior Consultant Neonatologist & HOD Fortis La Femme Hospital, Richmond Road, Bangalore shares a few tips to help make the corona conversation easier around children.

In the wake of coronavirus, several schools and colleges have been shut in many parts of the world to contain the spread of COVID-19. As public awareness and conversations around the novel virus incr..
Read More
- Remember that children react to how and what things are said

- Children pick up cues from conversations you have with them and others

- Patiently listen to what they say, and allow them to ask questions

- Avoid using words that might blame others and lead to stigma

- Remember that the virus can make anyone sick. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19

- Pay attention to what children see, hear or read on television, radio or online

- Reduce the amount of screen time for children focused on COVID-19. Too much information on any one topic can lead to anxiety and worry

- Provide information to kids that is honest and accurate. Give information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child

- Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the internet and social media may be based on rumours and inaccurate information

- Teach chilren everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs

- Stay calm and keep information simple

- Reassure children that health and school authorities are working very hard to keep everyone safe and healthy

- Teach dos and don'ts at home, schools and play areas
- Remember that children react to how and what things are said - Children pick up cues from conversations you have with them and others - Patiently listen to what they say, and allow them to ask qu..
Read More
- Stay 6 feet away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick

- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, and then throw the tissue into a closed bin

- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing nose, coughing or sneezing, after using restroom, and before eating or learning to prepare food

- If soap and water are not available, teach children to use hand sanitiser
- Stay 6 feet away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick - Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, and then throw the tissue into a closed bin - Wash hands with soap and water for a..
Read More
- Avoid touching mouth, nose, eyes and face with unclean hands

- Avoid coughing or sneezing into hands

- Avoid crowded places

- Avoid touching surfaces in public places and play areas unnecessarily
- Avoid touching mouth, nose, eyes and face with unclean hands - Avoid coughing or sneezing into hands - Avoid crowded places - Avoid touching surfaces in public places and play areas unnecessaril..
Read More
What is COVID-19?

- COVID-19 is the short name for 'coronavirus disease 2019'

- It is a new virus. Doctors are still learning more about it

- Recently, this virus has made a lot of people sick

- Doctors and scientists think that most people will be alright, especially kids, but some people might get very sick

- Doctors and experts are working hard to help people stay healthy
What is COVID-19? - COVID-19 is the short name for 'coronavirus disease 2019' - It is a new virus. Doctors are still learning more about it - Recently, this virus has made a lot of people sick - ..
Read More
- Practice healthy habits at home, school and play to help protect against the spread of COVID-19

- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you sneeze or cough into a tissue, throw it in the dustbin right away

- Keep your hands out of your mouth, nose and eyes. This will help keep germs out of your body

- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have soap and water, use hand sanitiser to clean the germs

- Keep things clean and hygienic

- If you have cough & fever, stay home. Just like you don’t want to get other people’s germs in your body, other people don’t want to get your germs either

- If you are old enough, you can help adults at home and school clean the things we touch the most like desks, doorknobs, light switches and remote controls
- Practice healthy habits at home, school and play to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 - Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you sneeze or cough into a tissue, throw it in the..
Read More
- COVID-19 can look different in different people. From what doctors have seen so far, most kids don’t seem to get very sick

- Being sick with COVID-19 would be a little bit like having the flu. Children may get a fever, cough or have a hard time taking deep breaths

- Most people who have contracted COVID-19 don't get very sick. Only a small group of people who get it have had more serious problems

- If you suspect your child may have COVID-19, call Government of India helpline +91-11-23978046 or contact nearest healthcare facility to let them know before you bring your child in to see them
- COVID-19 can look different in different people. From what doctors have seen so far, most kids don’t seem to get very sick - Being sick with COVID-19 would be a little bit like having the flu. Chi..
Read More

At two of the facilities, investigators were able to establish that an infected adult worker unknowingly introduced the virus.

The study concluded 12 children caught the coronavirus at the facilities, and spread it to at least 12 of the 46 parents or siblings that they came in contact at home. Three of the infected children had no symptoms, and one of them spread it to a parent who was later hospitalized because of COVID-19, the researchers said.

ADVERTISEMENT
That kind of rate of spread - about 25% - is on par with studies of spread in households that have included both children and adults. It also shows that children with no symptoms, or very mild symptoms, can spread the infection, just like adults can.

Hanage cautioned that it's not clear whether the findings at the three programs are broadly applicable. Also, the study didn't involve genetic analysis of individual infections that might have given a clearer picture of how the disease spread.

ADVERTISEMENT
But many infected kids experience mild illnesses and testing of children has been very limited, so it's likely that more than 25% of the outside contacts were infected, Hanage added.

The epidemic could get worse and more complicated this fall, said Dr David Kimberlin, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

"This should be another wake up call to all of us that we need to be diligent and all do our part," he said.

Download
The Economic Times Business News App
for the Latest News in Business, Sensex, Stock Market Updates & More.
READ MORE
ADVERTISEMENT

READ MORE:

LOGIN & CLAIM

50 TIMESPOINTS

More from our Partners

Loading next story
Text Size:AAA
Success
This article has been saved

*

+