The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic completely disrupted children’s lives. Between the closure of schools and the cancellation of playdates, their current routine is nothing like pre-COVID days. A disease like COVID-19 has been difficult for children and teenagers to control and comprehend – how your children react depends on their age, temperament, etc. Kids are curious and will ask questions about the situation, therefore, it is essential to educate them on the subject. It is crucial to teach them about different hygiene and health-promoting behaviors such as hand washing and social distancing. In this blog, we are going to look at how you can keep children healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is the Effect of COVID-19 on Children?
Contrary to the belief that children are not affected at all by the virus, they can actually develop COVID-19. They may show mild or no symptoms at all. Minor symptoms include mild temperature, fatigue, and cough. In some rare cases, kids can also develop serious complications. Children with severe underlying illness may have an increased risk of contracting the virus.
Daily Preventive Measures
Here are some of the preventive measures that should be practiced every day.
- Washing Hands
Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds is one of the fundamental keys to hand hygiene. In the absence of soap and water, hand sanitizers with 60% alcohol content, such as the New Rain hand sanitizer, should be used. Teach your children to follow these practices. In the case of younger children, caution should be observed when using hand sanitizers.
- Wearing Face Masks
Make sure that everyone in your family has a face mask on when they are in a public place or with individuals who do not live in your residence. Younger kids do not have to wear face masks, but the grownups around them should observe this practice.
- Avoiding Close Contact
Make sure that your children and the other members of the household keep a distance of at least 6 feet from outsiders and those who are sick. The key is to avoid any kind of close contact with individuals who are not members of the household, even if they are friends or neighbors. You should also avoid taking your kids to public places where social distancing could be difficult.
- Coughing and Sneezing
Children should be taught to sneeze or cough in a tissue, which should be discarded right after in a dustbin. It would be best if you encouraged all family members and children to follow the same practice.
- Seeing a Doctor
If you suspect that your child has COVID-19, make an appointment before visiting the clinic. As for the mild conditions, they can be handled via consultation on the phone or a video call.
How to Talk to Your Children About COVID-19
Here are some of the things you can talk to your kids about COVID-19.
- Reassure the kids that doctors and scientists around the globe are working tirelessly to keep us healthy.
- Children are excellent observers and can pick up on what you say and express. Help them understand, articulate, and organize their own sentiments about the pandemic.
- Talk to them about what do they think and clarify any misinformation.
- Be optimistic and honest when talking to your children. Reinforce the fact that they are not likely to get infected, but they should do their best to keep themselves and their family – especially the most vulnerable ones safe.
- With an increase in screen time due to the restrictions on outdoor activities, pay attention to their exposure to the news about the virus. Simulate good media habits and try to keep the sensational news in the backdrop.
- Creatively promote and improve existing relationships with family, friends, and neighbors.
- Talk to your children about how they can support and thank the frontline healthcare.
What Types of Food to Avoid?
Ice cream, chips, and cookies can be eaten occasionally, but not on a regular basis. Fast food should be avoided as much as possible—reserve succulent drinks such as soft drinks, juices, sports drinks, and sweets for special occasions. Instead, give them water and milk. Go for healthy choices and always scan the food labels.
What Types of Food to Eat?
- It would greatly help if you created a food safety zone in the house.
- Fruits and vegetables are excellent choices but try to go for fresh instead of frozen options.
- Cereals include wholewheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, and wheat noodles.
- Protein-rich foods like eggs, peanut butter, lean meat, dried beans should be used regularly.
The coronavirus pandemic has altered many facets of life as we know it. By focusing on healthy behaviors and practices, such as ample nutrition and exercise, children, and parents, will be better able to cope with the current unexpected circumstances. This is the only way to deal with post-COVID life and keep the children safe.
For further information, please visit: Coronavirus outbreak and kids, a guide by Harvard Health and Keep Children Healthy during the COVID-19 Pandemic by the CDC for further information.