We love them. We build our families around them. And we couldn’t imagine life without them. Children are a blessing – and, as such, need loving care and attention. So, we need to take care of them – but we also need to teach them they have a duty to help protect society during this pandemic.
Here are tips that can help. Just remember though, that kids look up to us. They will do what we do. So, we need to lead and teach by example. We can’t expect them to follow pandemic-related rules if we aren’t following them ourselves. The guidelines below are just the same as those that apply to adults.
And what are kids if they’re not adults in the making?
- Encourage your children to wash their hands frequently, ideally with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Get your children to wear a mask. Everyone in your household (if 2 years of age or older) should wear a mask in public. It’ll keep them safer – and teach them their real benefit – that they protect those around them too.
- Kids should avoid close contact with people outside their household. Loving your kids means giving them lots of hugs and attention. That should never change. For people who don’t live in your household however, kids should keep at least 6 feet away, especially from people who are sick (such as those that are coughing and sneezing).
- Take your kids for healthcare visits. Routine doctor and vaccine visits are essential, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Notify your child’s healthcare provider before your visit if you or your child have any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Get your children vaccinated – for COVID and the other immunisations they need. Life, with its myriad of potential dangers, doesn’t stop just because we’re in the thick of a pandemic. Make sure your child is vaccinated against all threats, so that they can develop the best possible immune system. These include vaccines that help to fight diseases like polio, measles, hepatitis B, diphtheria, TB, and meningitis.
- Medical bodies recommend that everyone 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19. Remember, widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic and protect all of us.
- Help your child stay active. The things that mattered to a child’s development before the pandemic haven’t gone away. They’re just as important, even more so when you consider so much time is spent at home, and not playing outdoors which is a part of every healthy childhood. So, find ways to make physical activity a part of your child’s life, even if it’s just in your garden. Like everything else, set a positive example by leading an active lifestyle yourself. Why not make exercise a family thing?
- Help your child stay socially connected. Reach out to friends and family via phone or video chats. Check to see if your child’s school has tips and guidelines to help support social and emotional needs of your child.
- Talk to your kids about COVID-19. We all have questions about the pandemic. It’s a new, and very different time for everyone. So, make sure your kids have the knowledge to understand the severity of the virus, and its impact on life. Be open and honest with them. Don’t scare them. Just tell them the truth. It never hurts. Reassure them that children with COVID-19 do not get very sick. This will reduce their stress in these trying times.
Stay calm. As we’ve said, we lead by example. If parents are panicking about the virus, it’s understandable that kids will be stressing too. They absorb what we do and say, so breathe in, and remember, this too shall end.
If you need support, advice, or counselling, please contact us on 0861 GOLIFE (465433) or SMS “Wellbeing” to 43821 or click here to visit the website for more information.
Categories: children’s health, health, family