How to keep the home and kids safe from COVID-19
More and more of us are being asked to stay at home to help flatten the curve and make sure there’s less pressure on health services whilst we help to contain the spread of coronavirus.
With many of us keeping indoors, here is some advice on how to keep yourself and your family or other household members safe.
- Clean hands at the door and at regular intervals.
- Create habits and reminders to avoid touching your face and covering any coughs or sneezes.
- Regularly clean high touch surfaces such as tables and kitchen countertops.
- Encourage children to have a role, for instance, to keep the household safe they need to keep their hands clean at all times.
It might be unavoidable that another member of your household gets sick. If someone you live with is sick, try to do the following to help protect others in your home:
- Give sick members their own room
- Have only one family member care for them
- Avoid sharing food and drink with others
- Don’t allow other to visit your home to avoid spreading the virus further
Preparing for staying at home
There’s no need to stockpile food or toiletries but it’s a good idea to have some items that have a long shelf life and don’t need to be refrigerated. You might want to buy more food that is good for when you’re sick. Things like soup and crackers are usually good for when you’re ill. It might also be a good idea to get hold of some medicine, not only your normal prescriptions if you have any, but also things such as paracetamol which will help to reduce a fever. A digital thermometer is also very handy to have. You’ll be able to keep an eye on yours and anyones else's temperature in the household to make sure you can help to prevent the spread of the virus at home.
To keep boredom and frustration at bay, both for yourself and the kids, consider being physically active whilst you're at home. It could be as simple as running up and down the stairs, or kicking a football about in the back garden.
Looking after your children
Most schools are closing now, except for children of key health workers. It might help to talk with your employer about working arrangements or speaking with family members and neighbours to help with childcare.
Can I take my kids outside?
Yes, kids need fresh air and movement but try not to confine them to playgrounds where they’re in close proximity to others. Parks are a bit better as they offer more open space, try to get outside at least once per day to establish a routine.
Can my kids see their friends?
It’s not recommended due to social distancing. You might need to share child care duties but try to limit the numbers to two or three kids if this is unavoidable. If this definitely can’t be avoided, try to keep the social circle small, that way you know exactly who has been exposed to who and the virus can be contained slightly easier if needed.
Can my children see the grandparents?
Unfortunately not. It’s difficult for the kids not to hug and sit on their grandparents laps but anyone over 60 is much more vulnerable to coronavirus. This isn’t the time to visit, instead, grandparents should spend time indoors and minimise contact.
Can I do a quick errand with my children?
Sometimes this is hard to avoid, the purpose of social distancing is to protect those who are most vulnerable and to limit the spread of the virus. The main thing you should ask here is "is this really necessary?". You shouldn’t feel any pressure to do anything and parents should do what they feel is necessary to protect their children.