COVID-19 Prevention: How to Teach and Protect Your Kids
COVID-19 or Coronavirus disease-19 has been on the news, social media, and the internet since the last quarter of 2019. It is a respiratory illness that has flu-like symptoms to some of the infected individuals. The disease has started to spread across countries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus can be transmitted among people and through contaminated surfaces. Not all individuals show or feel any symptoms, so infected people who are asymptomatic spread the virus without them knowing.
As the number of people infected by COVID-19 increases, governments have started to impose guidelines to control the virus from spreading. Most of the establishments like schools, museums, restaurants, public transportations and shops close down temporarily to provide social distance among people. Citizens are asked to stay home in the meantime.
Your kids may have already learned about COVID-19 from the internet, television, or from their school. Younger kids may start to notice and question why suddenly they cannot go to the park and meet their friends. It is essential for us, parents, to provide them with guidance and support during these challenging times.
Tips on How to Talk with Your Kids about COVID-19 Prevention
1. Research to get facts about COVID-19
As parents, we need to be informed of the latest news and events. Before talking to your child, find out what COVID-19 is, how people get infected, and how to prevent getting it. The Internet offers a wealth of information, but make sure to use reputable sources to get the facts and the latest news about the COVID-19. Social media has a mix of real and fake news, so be cautious about where you get your information.
2. Stay calm
The current situation can be alarming and worrying even for adults. Kids may also start to feel anxious about the change in their routine, being indoors all the time, no sports clubs and outdoor play with friends maybe an overwhelming shift of energy which may cause anxiety.
As the leader of the household, you are the kids' role model. If they see that you are relaxed and in control, they will not feel the need to panic or be frightened. With adequate knowledge of COVID-19 prevention, you can stay calm, knowing you can take actions to lessen the risk of infection. Remember that kids can sense your real feelings through your actions and words, so it is essential you are as authentic as possible.
3. Engage them in a conversation
Set time with your kids to sit down and talk with them about what is happening. Ask your kids what they have observed in the community and what do they know about COVID-19. Listen intently and watch out for any misinformation and emotion they may convey.
Give them factual but age-appropriate information based in your research. Make sure to point any misunderstanding of the information. If the child feels confused or afraid, make sure to comfort him/her.
Encourage them to approach you if they have questions or concerns about the situation.
4. Give assurance that COVID-19 can be prevented
During your conversation, assure them that COVID -19 can be prevented, and there are recommended actions that can be followed.
5. Share COVID-19 Prevention Tips
You may use the COVID-19 prevention infographic Tiny Steps has created for you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has suggested tips on how to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Here the important tips:
1. Use soap and water and wash your hands for 20 seconds.
Introduce the habit of handwashing to your kids. It is an excellent way to encourage the little ones to count from 1 to 20 or invite them to sing Happy Birthday twice. You may also create your own song, so it is more fun and memorable.
If there are no soap and water readily available, use alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It is recommended for the sanitizer to be at least 60% alcohol content.
2. Avoid touching your face.
Make it a habit to keep your hands off your eyes, nose, and mouth. Your hands may carry the virus if left unwashed, so it is advised to avoid touching your face.
3. Maintain at least 1.5-meter distance between you and another person, especially if the other person has colds and coughs.
If you really need to go out of the house to buy food, medicines, or house supplies, ensure to keep a distance from other people as we can get the virus through droplets. It is recommended not to go out unless it is absolutely necessary.
4. Always cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough. Use tissue or cover your face with your elbow.
People can get infected through droplets. Ensure to properly dispose the tissue and sanitize your hands after you sneeze or cough.
5. If you are unwell, stay at home.
If you are sick, example colds with mild fever, stay in your room and refrain from interacting with other household members. Ensure you don't share any items such as dishes, utensils, towels, glasses, mugs, pillows, or bedding with anyone. Get plenty of rest at home and call your doctor.
Monitor your symptoms at home. If you start having difficulty in breathing, call your doctor/GP to inform them about the situation. Follow the instructions they will give you.
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6. Always clean and disinfect your home.
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces objects such as tables, doorknobs, light switches , remote control, mobile, remote control, faucets and toilets. Better
Don't forget to regularly clean the kids' toys too.
7. Wear a mask if you are sick.
When you feel unwell with colds and cough, please wear face mask when you are in a place with other people. Properly dispose your mask after use and wash your hands after disposal.
If you are not sick but you are caring for a sick person, wear a mask too.
We hope that these tips assist and prepare you on how you can teach your kids about coronavirus and enable you to take preventive measures to protect your family, loved ones and your home.
Stay positive and healthy amidst this challenging situation!
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