If you have children like we do, you’re concerned about the spread of Coronavirus to your kids. Although most stay at home orders kept kids home from school this past spring, they will have to go back to class at some point. The CDC says that children do not appear to be at higher risk for the transmission of COVID-19 than adults. But, you and I both know we won’t stop worrying about it until there is a way to immunize our kids from this deadly disease. So, what do we do in the meantime? Here’s what health professionals and the Centers for Disease Control say about keeping our kids healthy this year:
- The most important thing you can do to keep kids healthy is WASH THEIR HANDS! We all know this, but it is so much more important in the age of COVID. Singing the Happy Birthday song while washing makes sure that the soap and water get enough time on hands to do their job. When to wash their hands? Before and after eating, always. After using the restroom seems like an obvious choice. After blowing their nose, of course. But, even after just touching the face – it’s a good idea to go and wash those hands. The CDC now also recommends hand washing after petting or touching animals. So, make sure time with Fido is followed by a good scrub.
- Hand Sanitizer is also a good idea. In fact, the CDC has set forth good rules about the use of hand sanitizer via this link: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/pdf/hand-sanitizer-factsheet.pdf . Our sanitizer was formulated to be strong enough to kill COVID, but gentle enough to use on our kids. We wanted something we could trust, and when we couldn’t find it, we made it. When using hand sanitizer, make sure to use enough to cover your entire hand up to the wrist. Rub hands together until they are dry, which should take about 20 seconds. After that you're set until you give the dog a belly rub, touch your face or come into contact with a surface you aren’t sure is clean.
- Wearing a mask is such a good idea, most states and counties require it to go in public these days. As much as it may be uncomfortable, and as much as it may not look cool, a mask can literally save the life of someone you care about. Science has made it very clear that face coverings help us to not spread the transmission of COVID if we are carrying it without knowing. Because we are starting to go back out into the world and interact with other humans, we have no idea when we might be exposed. You could be a carrier and have no idea. If we all wear masks, the exposure rate is minimized to the point that our economy can continue to recover and our kids can stay safer. It’s good for all of us.
- Another recommendation from the CDC is to make sure your kids are getting enough sleep. Their new schedules might mean more screen time and less study time. It might mean that we are being a little more relaxed about bed times. But, our kids need eight to ten hours of sleep per day for a reason. Their bodies are working really hard at growing and developing their brains. Keeping them rested means they have the energy to fight off disease and viral infections (like COVID-19). Make sure they are getting their rest and plenty of fluids to keep them healthy.
- Finally, the CDC actually recommends keeping your kids active during the day. This is hard since most of us are at home and trying to limit our exposure to the outside world. Taking a walk around the block seems like an adventure to little kids. Especially after months of social distancing. Teaching them to walk the dog a couple of times a day will teach them responsibility and help keep them active. There are a lot of resources online right now for active kids, including videos for every age group. Check this Youtube video here for a suggestion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmeTZGr_R5Q . My kids have really begun to enjoy a quick yoga workout during stay at home orders. If you search Youtube and Google, you can find a ton of great videos for kids of every age. Keep them moving to keep them healthy (just like adults).
For more information about keeping kids healthy during the Coronavirus pandemic, please visit the CDC by following this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children.html