Our kids are back to school, and it is important to keep them safe from contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, commonly known as coronavirus. This virus is responsible for the novel COVID-19 illness.
This article, takes you through the process of keeping your child/ward safe from COVID-19 and its cousin, the new Delta variant.
What is COVID-19?
Covid-19 is an infectious respiratory illness caused by a newly discovered coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2. The ‘CO’ stands for Corona, the ‘VI’ for Virus, while ‘D’ for Disease.
The SARS-Cov-2 virus, the virus that causes Covid-19, has killed and affected thousands in the past year. The death tolls keep increasing by the day and we must try our best not to fall victims.
However, it is important to know that children and adolescents tend to have milder diseases compared to adults. Most people who have been diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus have respiratory symptoms. For example, feeling a little ill, having a fever, losing their taste and smell senses, coughing and sneezing constantly. While in some, they might have gastrointestinal symptoms.
Young children do not have as many symptoms as adults do. Some children may tend to have gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhoea and vomiting, which tend to be milder. They also tend to have asymptomatic infections.
Ways to Keep Children Safe
The best way to keep our children safe from the virus is ‘prevention’. In prevention, we mean, making sure they don’t contract the virus. There are no new rules or styles directed at how one can keep a child safe from COVID. It is still the normal protocol.
Wash your child’s hands regularly: The act of washing your child’s hands is one of the criteria for keeping them safe. The singing method is one of the best ways to go about making your kids wash their hands daily and regularly, especially when they come back from school or just after playing with the neighbours. This implies that you sing a rhyme they love as they wash their hands.
The rhymes have lyrics such as;
‘This is the way I wash my hands,
Wash my hands, wash my hands.
This is the way I wash my hands,
or ”Wash, wash, wash your hands for forty seconds please”… (If you have kids below age 5, this method can be applied).
Use alcohol-based rub/sanitizer: Do not use sanitisers for babies/toddlers. Supervising older children from the age of 4 to properly use the alcohol-based sanitiser is recommended. Remember to keep it out of their reach for safety.
Teach them respiratory etiquette: This process is very important as it will help them form a good habit as they get older. Respiratory etiquette here implies that you teach them how to cough and sneeze. Teach them to sneeze and cough into their elbows.
Facemask: Wearing your child a facemask will help reduce their chances of getting the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, children below the age of 2 are not advised to use face masks as it will result in suffocation risk. Teach them how to properly wear a mask, not to touch the outside of their masks, and to wash their hands before and after using a mask). Until your child is fully vaccinated, they should always wear a mask.
Avoid crowded places: During school resumption, the only place your child should be exposed to is their school environment. Make sure they avoid going to crowded places. If they should, they are advised to be fully masked up.
Talk to your kids about COVID-19: Children are known to be very inquisitive and with the confusing information out there, it is advised that as parents/guidance, you talk to your kids as best as you can, by answering their questions appropriately, telling them the dangers of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, prevention ways and importance of getting vaccinated. Talking to them will help eliminate their fears. In addition,
A healthy diet: As a parent, if you have not been giving your kids a healthy diet to boost their immunity, it is time to do so. A healthy diet with fruits, nuts and vegetables is recommended to boost children’s immune systems. However, the use of immune boosters is not advisable for children below age 5. Avoid giving them processed foods and involve them in good physical activities.
These are simple tips to protect your little ones from the claws of the deadly virus.
If you are noticing any symptoms of COVID-19, do well visit the nearest hospital or reach out to us here.