As COVID-19 outbreaks skyrocket out of control in the U.S, it’s been suggested to take preventative measures in order to protect our households. Although COVID-19 cases have been documented to be more prominent in adults, we still have to ensure our children aren’t at risk. There is still a fair possibility children exposed to coronavirus can contract the illness compromising the health of the adults in their households. Here are some ways you can protect children against COVID-19 in the future.
Monitor your child for any signs of illness.
It can be tricky to differentiate between signs of allergies, the flu and COVID-19 symptoms. According to the CDC, red flags of the virus are a continuous fever, difficulty taking deep breaths, loss of taste and smell, and dry cough. There have even been symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea in the reported cases of children with COVID-19. Pay attention to your child’s health, and if at any moment they feel under the weather look for one of these symptoms.
Be cognizant of the fact that your child can be asymptomatic and not realize it. There have been reports of children in the household testing positive without showing symptoms, thus transmitting the virus to their parents who immediately experience sickness. World Health Organization officials have confirmed that scientists have not yet discovered if people who are asymptomatic are capable of spreading the disease. However, it has been clarified that there are studies that suggest asymptomatic individuals are heavily responsible for wide-spread transmission.
Educate your child to take the same precautions adults do.
Teach your children to wash their hands for 20 seconds with antibacterial soap. In young children, wash their hands for them counting out loud for memorization. In public, discuss how important it is for children to practice social distancing. Children are curious beings who awe at touching everything in sight at the grocery store. Encourage children to avoid touching shelves and items at the store for their safety. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to educate your children by putting COVID-19 in terms for them to easily understand.
Choose virtual learning if this option is available.
As summer is coming to an end, school districts are announcing their plan of action for continuing education amidst growing COVID-19 cases. Virtual learning is an option for most school districts county-wide. If extended learning is made available for your child take advantage of this opportunity. Consider how much children touch each other daily, get in each other’s personal spaces, and the overall hygiene of the average child in school. Children aren’t as cautious as adults and at school they are at high risk of exposure of COVID-19. Parents must adjust to the direction education is going for children and choose virtual learning to flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmission.
Limit time with outside people and other children.
In order to protect your household, time with outsiders and visitors have to be managed. It’s not recommended to have in person playdates with children outside of your home. In the neighborhood and anywhere outside, it’s suggested that children must stay 6 ft. apart from other children. It’s possible to play and still practice social distancing with the neighbors.
Prior to this pandemic, children were used to playing with other kids at school, at daycare, or in their neighborhoods. To ease your child’s nerves, try scheduling a facetime call with the parents of your child’s friends to set up a virtual playdate.
Make sure your child has on a mask in public.
There have been numerous sightings of parents at the store with masks on, however, their kids are without a mask in public. As a parent it’s important for you and your child to have a mask on. Little masks are available for purchase at the store to fit children’s faces. If your child is asymptomatic without your knowledge in public without a mask, they are only contributing to transmission of COVID-19 with anyone they come in contact with. Taking this extra step will prevent other people from being exposed to your child.
Although children are not at high risk, parents must take precautions to keep everyone in their households safe. High risk individuals such as grandparents and other older adults in the household could be affected by the children that live with them. Monitor your child’s health and look out for signs of the virus. Take advantage of virtual learning opportunities to avoid your child from being in the classroom with other children when schools do open. Micromanage your children and restrict time with individuals from other households. By taking these steps, parents can take the necessary actions needed to keep children and others safe.
Please consult your child’s healthcare provider on COVID-19 testing if your child is sick.
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