Families across the world are adapting to the evolving changes in daily life caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many public gathering areas, schools etc. are closed. Parents and other caregivers fare facing the challenge of helping their families adapt to this new schedule. This involves helping the kids being engaged, feeling healthy and trying to keep up as best as possible with various indoor activities. None of this is easy, but it helps to stay focused on what is likely to reinforce a sense of control and to reassure children that they are safe and that the situation will get better.
It is also important to note that children search for guidance from parents on how to react to stressful events. Acknowledging any degree of concern, without panicking, is acceptable and can lead to taking the required steps to reduce the risk of disease. This is also a tremendous opportunity for parents to model problem-solving, flexibility and compassion for children as we all work by adjusting daily schedules, balancing work and other activities, processing new information from authorities, getting creative about how we spend time, connecting and supporting friends and family members.
As a parent, being informed and guiding your children with wisdom and honesty can go a long way to helping your children remain safe and calm their anxieties. One essential thing you can do is get your information from a reliable source. Focus on the facts and take action.
As the number of COVID-19 cases rises worldwide, parents trying to safeguard their children from the disease can take solace in one thing: the disease has been observed as milder in children.
However, there are many unknowns about Coronavirus, and research is ongoing. Here are a few tips which can help parents to safeguard their children.
Keep hands clean
When it comes to kids and the COVID-19 virus, teaching them to practice good hygiene is very important. Chances are you and your kids already have good practices for preventing the spread of germs, but it is always good to have a refresher. Remind your kids to wash hands frequently to avoid sharing unwanted germs – before meals and snacks, after the bathroom, blowing their nose, coughing and playing outside. If washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds is not an option, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer will also help ward off germs.
Prevent the spread of the virus
Teach your kids to cough or sneeze into their elbow. It is also essential to help kids understand not to touch their face, as germs, including COVID-19, are quickly spread through the eyes, nose and mouth. Practice at home and praise positive behaviours. Encourage the practice of sneezing or coughing using a tissue and disposing it in a closed bin. Parents must be extra attentive towards the crawlers as they have a habit of putting things in their mouth fro the ground. In addition to helping your children decrease the spread of illnesses, help them understand the importance of social distancing. It may be hard for a child to understand why they cannot play with their friends right now, but you can encourage alternatives to regular playdates like virtual hangouts, video chats and phone calls with friends.
Sanitize or clean surfaces
Clean frequently touched surfaces to prevent the germs from spreading. Kids can even help. Doorknobs and light switches, countertops, favourite toys and tech surfaces – keyboards and touchscreens – should all be disinfected regularly. Even plush and stuffed toys can harbour germs. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and wash them on the highest temperature possible before drying them thoroughly.
Take extra steps to stay healthy
Right now is the best time to be making an extra effort to take care of your kids’ bodies. Nourish them with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Keep them active by doing regular exercises and make age-appropriate amounts of sleep a priority.
Know the signs of the illness
Parents should keep a check on the body temperature of the kids. If, after all your attempts to keep the germs at bay and maintain health, you think one of your children has come down with something, go for medical consultations immediately. Right now, kids and adults are presenting with the same symptoms if they contract the COVID-19 virus: fever, runny nose and cough. Sometimes vomiting and diarrhoea are present. Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, bluish lips or face and any other concerning symptoms should be cause for alarm and result in immediate medical attention. In case of any medical concern, consult the experienced doctors through the telemedicine services of PatientMD.
Talk to your kids about Coronavirus
With so much talk about hand-washing and staying healthy, your kids will likely have concerns about becoming sick. Talking to your kids about the Coronavirus, when there are facets not fully understood by adults, can feel challenging, but experts say not talking about it can cause more worry. You know your child best, but there are some useful strategies to employ when talking with your kids. Attempt to communicate with children at developmentally appropriate levels. Before sharing too much, ask them what they know. Chances are they have heard plenty. With this strategy, you can avoid telling them more than they might need to know and use it as an opportunity to dispel any myths they may have heard. Empower them to take action and focus on the things they can do to keep themselves safe, like washing hands and covering their cough with their elbow and not touching their face.
Take care of yourself
Stress, responsibilities and anxieties are at an all all-time high for most parents. You cannot take care of your kids if you are not well. With all the demands and uncertainties parents are facing, it is vital to do what you can to protect yourself, practise good self-care and then keep a good perspective.
When it comes to kids and COVID-19, here is what you need to remember: Help prevent the spread of the virus by practising good hygiene and common sense. Educate yourself on the signs of the illness and when to seek medical support. Talk to your kids about what’s going on around regarding the current situation. Stay tuned to our blogs and get more information related to COVID-19.