How to Keep Children Safe During a Pandemic
As a parent of young children, you are particular about protecting them, especially in these tough times. We`ll discuss nine ways to keep your children safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as FAQs and coronavirus myths.
9 Ways to Keep your Children Safe During a Pandemic
Be Informed on their School`s Safety Measures
As a parent, you need to know what your child`s school is doing to keep learners safe. In addition to their effort, you also need to teach your children these safety rules and ensure that they follow the rules. Teaching them the implications of not following these rules would also be helpful. You might also want to simplify the rules as much as possible.
Explain the Virus in Child-Friendly Language
Children are more likely to follow COVID-19 safety rules if parents teach them how the virus transmission works in simple language. They can understand that germs like the coronavirus are invisible, tiny microorganisms that can spread from one person to another. They can also understand that people can have the virus and not feel sick because they are asymptomatic.
Take Precaution yourself
Parents, too, should practice safety habits at home to stay safe and set a great example. Children are faster to emulate what their parents do than obey what they say. Make COVID-19 safety rules your home culture, so your children can see it as a norm and stay safe.
Help them Deal with Stress
Children may not be able to handle all the uncertainties and fears that come with the pandemic. They need their parents more at this time to guide and encourage them. Know what they think about returning to school, and don`t hesitate to have them learn remotely. It would be helpful to teach them techniques to manage stress such as breathing strategies, quality sleep, regular exercise, and a healthy diet.
Promote Mask Wearing
Getting children to wear masks can be a tall order. As you teach them the importance of mask-wearing, it is also important to wear face masks yourself, so they can emulate you. Also, it is not enough to wear a facemask, as masks will not protect against the virus if they don`t wear it correctly. Parents need to teach and model the right way, making sure the mask covers their mouth, chin, and nose fully.
Teach Safe Distancing
Children are naturally physical and social, so teaching them social distancing can be challenging. Teach them new ways to play that support social distancing. Skateboarding, running an obstacle course, playing hopscotch, and bike riding are distance-enabling games that are safe at this time. Outdoor activities generally have a lower risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus than indoor activities do.
Teach them to Wash their Hands
Parents should teach children not to touch their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands because that can get germs to easily enter their bodies. Explain to them that frequent hand-washing and sanitizing can kill these germs. You might want to put a hand sanitizer in their bag and remind them to use it.
Encourage them to Report if they Feel Sick
It is normal for children to be scared or reluctant to tell anyone that they are feeling sick or stressed. Some will particularly be nervous about seeing the school nurse. Parents should encourage them to feel free to tell them or a teacher if they feel sick. Let them know that COVID-19 is not a death sentence and that they should speak early if they feel symptoms so they can help stop the spread to other learners, and get treatment early.
Reward Good Behavior
It`s natural to focus on negative behaviors at this time because children may not wear their masks or they may stand too close to other people. Try as much as possible to see their positive behavior and reward them. This will encourage them to keep up with safety protocols. This way, you can reinforce positive behaviors. The reward could be a verbal compliment or even a gift.
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
How Likely Are Children to Catch and Transmit the Virus in School Settings?
School outbreaks have seemed minimal, mainly because the majority of children are asymptomatic or only develop a very mild form of the disease. That does not negate the fact that the virus still spreads at school. What mostly happens is that asymptomatic children spread the virus to their parents who usually are symptomatic.
What Are the Most Important Measures for Preventing the Spread of Infection in Schools?
The most important measures to observe in school settings are regular hand-washing, increased physical distancing, improved ventilation, and the use of masks. These measures will reduce the transmission of the virus and help to lessen the impact of other respiratory infections during the upcoming autumn and winter season.
Is it Safe for Children to Go Back to School?
Schools are reopening for children to have a suitable learning environment, however, this does not take away the fact that it increases the risk of spreading that virus among children. The level of safety in school settings depends on adherence to safety measures such as increased physical distancing, regular hand-washing, improved ventilation, and the use of masks.
How Long Will this Last?
No one knows, really. We`re 10 months into it, and still counting, hoping things get better.
But here’s the good news: Quite a number of people are working to fight COVID-19. Healthcare workers are particularly taking care of people with the virus, while scientists are looking for ways to combat it. There are also factory workers ensuring that hospital supplies are available, while grocery store workers are making sure people can buy food.
You too can help reduce the spread of the virus by staying home and wearing a mask if you have to be in public.
Debunking Coronavirus Myths
Coronavirus Does not Kill Younger People
No doubt, the mortality rate of COVID-19 increases with age, as it ranges between 0.2 to 0.4% for people within ages 0 to 49, and increases to 14.8% among people who are 80 and above. So yes, older people and those with pre-existing health conditions are more vulnerable to the disease, however, anyone of any age can catch the virus. You should also note that there some people are more susceptible to coronavirus than others — healthcare workers, their family members, and caregivers of infected people, notwithstanding their age.
Coronavirus Is not As Dangerous as the Seasonal Flu
Although it has similar symptoms as the seasonal flu, the mortality rate of coronavirus is way higher. The seasonal flu claims less than 1% of the lives of people infected, however, the death rate of coronavirus has increased over time.
It Takes 10 minutes of Being with an Infected Person to Catch the Virus
Some reports have said that one can get infected with coronavirus when they are within six feet of an infected person who sneezes or coughs for at least 10 minutes. This is only a myth. People have got infected by coronavirus through shorter interactions. Infection can also happen by touching contaminated surfaces. To avoid getting infected, ensure you wash and sanitize your hands as often as possible.
Now that you Know…
Keeping your children safe may actually not be as difficult as you thought. Get the facts, know the techniques of teaching them, be a model, and you`re good to go.