tips for parent on
protecting your kids from the coronavirus
So we might have thought this would have blown over by now. People were freaking out and yet many of us were sitting back, shaking our heads and assuming that everyone was just being dramatic. It’ll be over before we know it.
But then, it didn’t end. As a matter of fact, it keeps getting more serious and more scary. Social media has completely exploded with information about the worst case scenario – which doesn’t seem that unlikely now. As parents, we start fearing any potential impact to our children. At first, it seemed like Covid-19 was staying away from children. But with the global reach of the media and the pandemic nature of the virus, we’ve now seen and heard of cases affecting every single age group.
So now, should we panic? And what does panic even look like? Where do we draw the line between being wise and being illogical?
I’ll be honest. I never would’ve expected it to get this far. Quite frankly, nothing like this had happened in my lifetime and I didn’t expect something as radical as this to ever really happen. If you would’ve told me that people would be quarantined in their homes across the globe, I would have laughed in your face. But now, here I am quarantining. In my small home. With my husband and 4 little kids. All. Day. Long.
I get it. We’re all feeling it. Especially parents. Trying to enforce confinement on children is super stressful. And super exhausting. I mean what do you do when you’ve played hide and seek, read every book in the house (twice), used all the craft materials you have and watched most of the non R-rated material on Netflix? As parents, how do we equip ourselves to deal with the days ahead?
Here are my top suggestions on how parents should deal with the Coronavirus events.
1. still don’t panic
It’s hard not to picture the worst – especially when every Whatsapp group and Facebook post is sharing warnings and bad news.
Now, I have nothing against staying informed but we need to understand what type of content seems to go viral on social media. The most shareable material tends to be the scary stuff. And maybe there’s some benefit to that. I mean if it wasn’t for the reality check I got from all that bad news, I might have not been so accepting of having no human contact outside of my immediate family for the last 11 days (but who’s counting?).
So let me remind you of what’s not really being shared. The stories of those that recovered. The successes of the countries and regions that are doing it right. The plans being put in place to regain control and put an end to this outbreak. There’s a lot of people working really hard, you guys. Smart people. They’re bound to get a handle on things.
In the meantime, yes, practice social distancing. Yes, buy a couple of extra bags of pasta and rice and beans. Yes, stay home. But please, don’t panic and go empty the shelves at the grocery store. Stock up so that you don’t have to go to the store multiple times a week but don’t stock up like there’s a zombie apocalypse. And while you’re at home, limit your reading about this outbreak to a specific, short amount of time.
2. know the facts
In our world today, it’s not hard to get on Google and be bombarded with a ton of information on the coronavirus – some accurate, some inaccurate. The problem comes from not being able to tell the difference. When we read wrong information, it can produce unnecessary worry and can also make us take unwise decisions.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention website has some great information and updates on the coronavirus. It outlines the current situation and has information about transmission, symptoms and prevention.
For any Canadians (my people, eh!), the Canadian Public Health website is an up to date resource that can provide valuable information on the status of the outbreak.
Those sites are reliable and are continuously being updated with the most recent findings about the virus status so they are great resources for us as parents.
3. stay home
I know it’s hard. Trust me, I know. I’m severely extroverted and need social contact to survive. But staying home and practicing diligent social distancing is so so important. It literally makes all the difference.
Think of it this way. If all of us do this one thing, the virus would be eradicated completely in just over 14 days. Crazy, huh.
By staying home, you are not allowing yourself or your family members to be carriers, hosts or victims to the Coronavirus. You will be highly unlikely to pass it on to someone that might be immunocompromised enough to struggle with recovering from it. Staying home is seriously the strongest, most responsible thing you can do at this time.
I’m not saying it’s gonna be easy. As a mom of 4 little ones 6 years old and under, I know there will be moments where the cabin fever runs so high that you’ll seriously consider admitting yourself for insanity instead of infection. But I still strongly believe it’s worth it. Equip yourself with some of the great children’s resources circulating on the internet. You can also check out the daily Remote School Program we offer here at Life Full Of Sunshine. Make a daily schedule so everyone knows what to expect. We will get through this. Repeat after me. We will get through this.
4. wash your hands
If there’s one thing I’ve mastered during this Covid-19 outbreak, it’s the art and skill of effectively washing my hands. As Mamas, most of us take the following common preventative steps anyway. But during a time like this, we might need to make sure that we keep doing these things with extra diligence.
- Wash your hands and your children’s hands properly before eating and after using the washroom.
- If you must go out, keep a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others and wash your hands very well with soap and water right when you get home.
- Avoid touching eyes, noses and mouths with unwashed hands.
- Avoid hanging out with people who are sick and have any sick family members stay home.
- Clean and sanitize any objects or surfaces that are used frequently.
- Avoid all unnecessary travel. This is not the time for a vacation. Yes, it’ll be a boring few weeks, but avoiding the contraction and passing of this virus makes the boredom very much worth it.
It’s hard not to panic when we hear news like this. The mommy gears start turning and we envision the details of the worst possible scenarios. But that won’t help anyone. We have to put the breaks on and acknowledge the precautions being taken globally and the expertise of those in authority. This outbreak will probably stay in the headlines for months but that doesn’t mean we should be living in constant fear and worry. Stock up on the sanitizer, wash hands, stay home and this too shall pass.