Recently there has been an increase in positive cases of coronavirus. We are now receiving reports of 30 cases in children age of 5 and younger. While it is alarming, we as parents can always do more to make sure we keep our families safe. There is no reason to be on edge, when we can be proactive. Here are some ways to help keep our families safe:
Teaching our kids about germs:
Older kids may have a decent grasp on germs and bacteria, but its always a good idea to revisit the basics and teach new normals.
Younger kids are learning for the first time. This science experiment is a great way to teach younger kids about germs:
Teaching kids how to and how long to wash their hands with anti-bacterial soap
The CDC recommends that everyone wash their hands with soap for at least 20 or more seconds.
I taught my kids to sing the entire length of the 'Happy Birthday' Song, some parents use Baby Shark.
Hand sanitizer is not a replacement for soap, however it is a good idea to use hand sanitizer before and after using high touch surfaces, before meals and when you may not have access to soap.
Teaching kids how to wear a mask:
I started teaching mine towards the beginning of summer. Mostly with my 7 year old just because I didn't want her to struggle to wear it if JCPS decided to host in person classes; she wears glasses so it was important for her to get comfortable in a mask. I took her to the store 5 Below for about 20 minutes, just to get her used to it. Then a few weeks later I took her to Walgreens to pick up a card for her teacher. When the Newport Aquarium reopened masks were a requirement, so I was nervous for my 7 year old and 4 year old twins to wear it the entire tour; they did a great job! They wore their masks the whole time, they didn't pull or tug on them. In total it was over a 4 hour tour, so now if the kids need to wear masks, its just natural for them. I would highly recommend the experience. I think is also a good practice to set the example for our kids, not complaining when we wear the mask. Be empathetic if they seem overwhelmed, start with short periods of time. Some kids will have a harder time than others, so small practice here and there will help.
We have so many options for masks now for kids compared to when the pandemic first started. Finding your kids favorite color, sports team or character is much easier with options from Etsy, Amazon, Old Navy, Target, Crayola etc. The CDC recommends masks for children 2 and older when you can't social distance.
When Beshear moved Kentucky from phase 1 to phase 2 of our reopening plans, (where we went from gatherings of 10 people to 50 people) it was only natural to expect an increase of positive coronavirus cases. However now the numbers are much higher than expected and we are now seeing more young children test positive. Since Beshear announced the increase the last couple of days, my family and I have made the decision to reduce the amount of time we are in public. We will use Instacart for groceries, Amazon for other things we may need and reduce the amount of people we are around. At this point we are fortunate enough that he and I can both work from home and we have that opportunity. Not everyone has the same luxuries, so do what you can.
If your kids are anything like mine, they are attached to their blankets and stuffed animals. We used to wash blankets weekly and stuffed animals monthly. We have now increased that to was blankets 2 times per week and stuffed animals weekly. We are also adding Lysol Laundry Sanitizer to our laundry.
Cleaning high touch surfaces regularly is recommended by the CDC. Areas such as tables, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets and sinks. I know we all have our favorite cleaning products. Some of us are concerned with toxins, some of us are concerned with environmental factors and others just want to kill all traces of germs and bacteria. The Environmental Protection Agency has come out with a few lists that will help us to make the best choices for our homes and families.
Other great practices:
If your child is sick or you feel sick stay at home for a few days
Keep in contact with your pediatrician
If you know you've come in contact with someone who had coronavirus or your child has please self quarantine
These are the symptoms of Coronavirus:
Fever or chills
shortness of breath/ difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Nausea or vomiting
Children can have pneumonia with or without obvious symptoms
According to Hopkinsmedicine.org Some children between the ages of 2 and 15 have experienced a condition called Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome or PIMS. Doctors are trying to determine if and how PIMS and Covid-19 are related. Here are the symptoms for PIMS to look for:
Abdominal (belly pain)
Vomiting and diarrhea
Red cracked lips
Swollen glands on one or both sides of the neck
Swollen hands of feet
Emergency warning signs that need medical care immediately:
Persistent pain/ pressure in the chest
Inability to stay awake
Bluish lips or face
In Children signs that require immediate medical care:
Difficulty breathing or catching breath
Inability to keep liquids down
Inability to awaken