The COVID-19 pandemic not only induced obesity, eye problems due to online schooling but also weaker bones, claim experts. A majority of children are complaining of foot pain, wrist pain, joint pain, fracture and are unable to do their daily activities with ease.
It is essential for parents to make sure that their children exercise regularly, get enough sunlight exposure, and eat protein-rich foods. Do not forget to check the vitamin D levels of the children as per the doctor’s suggestion, suggest a medical practitioner.
A nationwide lockdown owing to the coronavirus pandemic forced everyone to stay at home in order to minimize the risk of getting infected with the virus. The pandemic took a toll on the bone health of a large number of children as they couldn’t play outside on playgrounds, believe doctors.
Dr Ashwani Maichand, Orthopedic Surgeon, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Delhi said, “Even before the pandemic, there was childhood inactivity. Children are often glued to electronic gadgets and avoid playing outside. During the pandemic, there is a surge in the number of children with weaker bones leading to tenderness or discomfort. Physical inactivity, lack of sun exposure, and a sedentary lifestyle have led to hand, foot, wrist pain in children. Children are unable to do their homework, assignments, or daily chores. This problem is seen in children in the age group of 5 – 10 years. In the past, one in 10 patients had this problem. But after the lockdown, three to four out of 10 children now have weak bones. Those with weakened bones and low bone mass will have the risk of fractures in the future leading to osteoporosis.”
Maichand added, “Children should exercise regularly, get enough of vitamin D via sun exposure and eat a diet rich in calcium and proteins to maintain good musculoskeletal health. Physical activity can help increase bone mass and not exercising can decrease bone strength. Children should exercise for at least half an hour in the morning either on the terrace or the balcony during sunny hours. Check the vitamin D levels and take D3 supplements only after the expert’s advice. Try to opt for hot or cold packs to soothe the sore area, rest enough and avoid processed foods that can increase inflammation in the body.”
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