Coronavirus Prevention Tips For Parents

As a parent, you may be wondering about what to know (or do) in the face of a virus that, while not as common and life-threatening as flu, affects everyone including children, with no signs of disappearing anytime soon and with no vaccines to stop it from spreading. Fear not, here are tips from the Harvard Health Blog that are guaranteed to prevent you and your family from falling ill to coronavirus:

  1. Make sure that everyone in your home does regular hand washing, a time-tested way of preventing the spread of viruses and infections. Using soap and water and washing for 20 seconds (Hint: sing the alphabet song while washing) should cut it. If there is no sink available, then a hand sanitizer will do: spread it well, then get it all over the hands including between the fingers. Wash before meals and snacks, both after being in a public place such as a park or hospital and after being with anyone who is or might be sick.
  2. Teach your children not to touch sensitive areas like their mouths, eyes or noses unless they have clean hands. Carry tissues for wiping your kids' mouths and noses, then promptly throw them away after use.
  3. Encourage healthy habits such as exercise, a healthy diet and getting enough sleep at night, all of which help keep your child's immune system strong.
  4. Make sure that your child has received or taken a flu vaccine. Influenza, or flu in short, is both far more common and also very dangerous.
  5. Teach your children to be careful about the surfaces they touch when you are out in public. It requires you to be extra creative since little hands seem to instinctively reach for anything around them. Either bring something for your kids to hold, or simply hold hands with them. Alternatively, have them wear gloves especially if you are living in an area with a cool/cold climate, in which case you have to bring extra gloves so you can wash the worn one/s when you arrive home. It also helps to carry at least some wipes for you to wipe down seats, tables and other useful items in public areas before using them.

Does avoiding sick people mean staying home?

  • Stay away from sick people only to the extent that it is possible. This does not mean holing up in your house, skipping school or daycare or declining a party invitation, unless there is a specific public health advisory either in your area or in the area you are going to. When going outside, especially in public places, be aware of the symptoms of the people around you, such as sneezing or coughing, and keep distance between you and others (also to the extent possible).
  • When hosting people at home, it is your responsibility to let them know that they should not come if they are sick. Additionally, keep a hand sanitizer near the door and ask your guests to use it when they arrive.
  • Should anyone in your family get a fever or cough, it is best that they stay home until they get better. Whether or not it is a symptom of coronavirus, chances are it is likely contagious. You also do not want to panic or alarm others by having your children sneeze in front of their kids.

Wuhan Coronavirus Wuhan seafood market closed after the new coronavirus was detected there for the first time on January 1, 2020. SISTEMA 12/Wikimedia Commons