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Kids vs. COVID-19: What Parents Must Do

  • Parents must teach their children safety protocols such as wearing masks, social distancing, and hand washing.
  • If they suspect an infection, a reliable COVID-19 test should be done, and kids must isolate to prevent further spread.
  • Monitor symptoms closely and keep an emergency plan in place.
  • Familiarize yourself with local healthcare centers and teach kids to recognize signs of COVID-19.
  • Take extra steps to ensure kids stay safe during the pandemic.

Kids are extra vulnerable to the virus and remain at risk, even if they don’t show symptoms. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that children between the ages of 5-17 comprise 10% of reported cases in the United States. Moreover, severe cases requiring hospitalization are more common in older kids, with those aged 5-17 accounting for 5% of such claims.

Children are believed to be less likely to contract and spread COVID-19 compared to adults, but they remain at risk due to their weaker immune systems and susceptibility to severe symptoms. Furthermore, younger children may have difficulty following safety protocols. For this reason, parents must ensure they do whatever it takes to protect their kids from the deadly virus. Here are a few steps to consider:

Teaching Proper Safety Protocols

Mother feeding her little girl

Kids have a hard time following safety protocols for a variety of reasons. First, children may not understand the severity of the virus or what it means to practice social distancing and other measures such as wearing masks and washing hands. Additionally, young kids can be excitable and easily distracted, making it challenging to keep them in line and ensure they follow the rules.

As such, parents must take extra steps to remind children of the importance of safety protocols, especially the following:

Wearing Masks

One of the most essential safety measures parents must teach their children is to wear a face mask correctly. It’s best to get a few masks, so kids can rotate them and switch whenever they get wet or soiled. Children should be taught how to put it on and take it off and the importance of keeping it on at all times when outside their homes. They should also understand the types of masks available in the market and which are best suited for them. Additionally, parents should ensure not to leave gaps between the mask and their child’s face, as this will increase the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Practicing Social Distancing

Parents must explain why staying away from others is so important, so kids understand why they must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Parents should also encourage kids to talk with friends online or by phone instead of meeting in person during this time. Use visual aids such as drawings to help explain social distancing concepts and offer opportunities for roleplaying activities that focus on maintaining a distance when out in public areas such as parks or streets.

Hand Washing

Children must wash their hands regularly throughout the day with soap and water, especially after going out in public areas, touching surfaces like door handles, using the restroom, blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing, etc. Parents must guide kids through proper handwashing techniques like lathering soap across both sides of hands, including between fingers and under nails, while counting up to 20 seconds before rinsing thoroughly with clean running water.

Cleaning/Disinfecting Surfaces

Parents must regularly teach kids about disinfecting frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, laptops/phones screens, tables, and chairs using EPA-approved cleaning agents – preferably once every 24 hours. Kids must be reminded about washing their hands before and after touching these objects. They should also be taught how often groceries & other items delivered from outside/online must be cleaned & sanitized before being brought inside.

Staying Isolated Upon Infection

If you suspect your child has contracted the COVID-19 virus, you must take the kid to the nearest urgent care clinic. Confirming your suspicions should be the top priority, and you can achieve it with reliable COVID-19 testing from medical professionals. The test will tell you whether or not your child has the virus, and then you can take further steps accordingly. If they are positive, it’s best to begin isolation immediately and keep them away from other family members until their symptoms subside or the doctor gives them a clean bill of health.

Parents need to explain why isolating themselves is essential and what it means. They should stress that isolating helps protect themselves and other people by reducing the chances of further spread. Kids must also be taught to follow their doctor’s instructions and take their medications to help reduce symptoms and speed up recovery.

Parents should monitor their child’s symptoms closely and keep track of any changes, such as fever, difficulty breathing, etc. Any changes must be reported immediately to a healthcare professional for further evaluation and treatment. Kids must understand that they can’t go out and socialize with friends or have play dates in isolation, as this will increase the risk of spreading the virus. Explain that even if they don’t feel sick, there is still a chance they can spread the virus without knowing it and thus put others at risk – so staying home is essential during this time.

Prepare for Emergencies

slicing fruits

Unfortunately, the symptoms of COVID-19 might be severe and require medical attention. As such, parents should be prepared for any emergency, including having a plan for what to do if their child exhibits severe symptoms. Make sure to familiarize yourself with your local healthcare centers and have an emergency contact list ready.

Parents must also teach kids to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19 so they can understand when to seek medical help. Knowing what signs to look for is essential, as early detection and treatment are vital in managing this deadly virus. Doctors can provide the proper treatment at the right time to prevent severe complications and help ensure a full recovery.

Final Thoughts

Parents need to take extra steps to protect their children from the virus. Teaching kids proper safety protocols, isolating them upon infection, and preparing for emergencies are all vital in helping kids stay safe during this pandemic. With a little effort, parents can ensure their kids remain healthy and out of harm’s way despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.

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