Keeping your children safe amidst Coronavirus (COVID-19)

By Kate - Tue, 17/03/2020

We understand that the recent news and uncertainty around the COVID-19 situation has caused panic and alarm for people globally. Our hearts go out to those who have already been affected by the virus. 

We understand that as parents, there is growing concerns for the welfare of our children and families. During this challenging time, the best thing that we can do is to stay informed, listen to the experts, and remain calm. This email serves to provide you with measures that you can put into practice to best safe-keep your family and prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

1. Educate your children
Trust the experts: Your kids already know! "The chances of a child, of any age, to not have heard about this is really low," says Robin Gurwitch, PhD, a Psychologist and Professor at Duke University. Education is king so get on the forefront, sit your children down and brief them on what is really going on. Be sure to ask questions to assess what they already know, validate their concerns, and follow-up with them regularly. 

2. Take social distancing seriously
Social distancing means maintaining a distance of 2 meters from one another. "There is evidence Corona viruses can live on plastic and metal for up to nine days," said Dr. Asaf Bitton, a primary care physician and executive director of Ariadne Labs. So, it's best to reconsider playdates, letting your kids play sports, visits to the local playground etc.

3. Wash hands regularly
Wash hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, particularly after visiting public places. This goes for both parents and children. If soap and water isn't available, use hand sanitiser. Be sure to put some in your child's bag and educate them on when and how often to use it.

4. Encourage a healthy lifestyle
Ensure adequate nutrition, daily activity and sufficient sleep. It is imperative to keep your child's immune system strong.

5. Closely monitor your children
Be sure to keep a close eye on your children, particularly if they're continuing to go to school. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing, breathing difficulty and fatigue. If you're concerned about your child's health, be sure to call their doctor and explain their symptoms before taking them into the clinic. This is imperative in order to minimise virus transmission. 

The World Health Organisation website is a great resource for the public. Be sure to check back regularly for updates and see here Myth Busters to stay informed on the misinformation out there.

Stay safe and remember, this too shall pass!