Earlier this week COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic.
As we all try to protect ourselves, it’s only natural to be extra worried when you have children in the house.
Well, the good news is that children have been considerably less affected by the virus. However, how you deal with the current situation makes all the difference. It’s important to talk to children about it and only provide accurate and honest information, and use clear language when doing so.
Always remain calm and reassuring when talking to children. Try to answer their questions and make them feel safe. The last thing you want to do is spread panic.
Here are some things you can and should do to protect yourself and your family:
- Monitor children’s health and keep them home from school if they are ill.
Not all sickness is COVID-19 now. People will still get colds, the flu, and other viruses out there. It’s important to monitor so you can identify it early.
- Hygiene habits have to become, well, a habit.
– The main one is washing hands….a lot.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Follow these five steps—wet, lather (make bubbles), scrub (rub together), rinse and dry. You can sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
– Coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your own elbow.
Teach kids to not spread germs.
– Avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth and nose.
This is a hard one, especially for kids.
– Wash toys and surfaces regularly.
– Clean your cellphones.
Phones can transfer a lot of germs, keep them clean.
Children will not take these preventive steps if you don’t talk to them and give them information that helps them understand the importance of it all.
Even if you do everything right, there’s still a chance someone in your family will contract the virus. Tha’s why you should take care of your immune system.
Here are some things that can help:
- A balanced diet: choose whole foods and avoid sugars in excess
- Get lots of sleep
- Exercise daily: it’s ok if it’s just a walk
If you or anyone in your family feel any symptoms or have doubts, contact your family doctor.
*Sources: World Health Organization, CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.