COVID-19 infection has been reported in children of all ages, however case numbers seem to be far lower than in adults. Children generally experience a milder form of illness than adults, with most infected children presenting with mild symptoms or none at all.
As schools gradually open up their doors again, one question that many parents are asking is: “What can I do to keep my children safe?”
Make hand washing fun
Teaching your children how to wash their hands properly with soap (rub together for 20 seconds) and water is a really simple, yet effective way, to help keep them safe. The best way to get children to do this is by making hand washing more exciting and encourage them to sing their favorite song as they wash their hands.
Lead by example
A little can go a long way when it comes to teaching and reinforcing basic measures that can help protect your kids. Children learn from the adults around them. By making good habits of your own, your kids will be more likely to practice what you teach them.
Test their senses
Results from a COVID symptom study suggest that losing your sense of smell or taste may be a stronger predictor of coronavirus infection than fever. Therefore, keeping track of any changes to your child’s sense of smell may be a good way to identify coronavirus infection early. Mealtimes are a great time to test this out. You can make it a game and ask them to close their eyes and guess what they can smell or taste on their plates.
Listen to them
Your child may be feeling worried or concerned about the things that they see, hear, or read regarding coronavirus. As they return to school, they will be exposed to information and opinions shared by their peers and teachers. As a parent or caregiver, it’s important to reassure them that you are there to listen to them when they feel scared or unsure about the things that they’re hearing. You don’t need to have all the answers, but just knowing that it is safe to talk to you about their concerns can help them feel calm.
Keep an eye out
Be sure to keep an eye out for common COVID-19 symptoms including fever, loss of senses, and/or a new continuous cough. If you see any sign of illness consistent with coronavirus infection, make sure to contact your healthcare provider and keep your child at home and away from others.