Kids like to spread the love—in hugs and kisses, snuggles and tickles. Ask a child to social distance and you’ll find them bent over some game head-to-head with a friend. So what’s a parent to do during a pandemic like Covid-19, or the flu season to reduce the spread of illnesses?
Make it a Game
Washing hands is the number one way you can help your child reduce the likelihood that a virus or bacteria will make its way into their system. The problem is, many kids will tell you they washed their hands, but they most likely washed too quickly or didn’t use soap. You can make washing hands a game, by telling them to sing a song, tell a story, or see how many bubbles they can make on their hands with the foam while they wash. This way, you can help ensure that your children wash their hands for at least 20 seconds—the length required to kill germs.
Another way you can help your children avoid illness is to tell them there’s no sharing of beverages or food. That means everybody gets their own glass and popcorn bowl. You might consider stocking washable glass markers so you can write everyone’s name on their cups and plates.
Asking your children to stay at least six feet away from their friends is probably not going to work. They will do their best, but humans are wired for contact and it will be hard for them to remember—especially for the younger ones. Instead, ask the parents of your child’s friends to let you know if their kids or anyone in their family has been sick. This way you can make an informed decision about a playdate.
The fact is, kids get sick. A lot. And they need to in order to build their immune systems. You can help reduce the spread of illnesses by keeping your children home if they’re ill.
Most of the time, kids recover from illnesses with lots of rest and fluids. If you’re concerned about your child’s symptoms, here’s a quick guide to help you determine when it’s time to get help.
As a rule of thumb, if your child is 6 months or younger and has a fever, bring your child to The Urgency Room to be seen. If your child is 6 months or older, be prepared to see a lot of colds and fevers. It’s totally normal and it’s helping them build the strength of their immune system.
You should bring your child to The Urgency Room if she or he has a fever and:
- Acts really sick
- Isn’t drinking fluids and is not urinating at least 2 – 3 times a day in a potty trained child or having a wet diaper every 6 hours for a younger child
- Looks pale or ashen
- Develops mottling on the skin that looks like a spider web
- Looks like they’re working hard to breathe—their stomach muscles are really pulling in and out during each breath
The Urgency Room (UR) is a state-of-the art medical facility specializing in the treatment of acute injuries and illnesses in adults, children, and infants. Staffed with board-certified emergency physicians, the UR is prepared to handle it all. If you need immediate medical attention and don’t need an ambulance come to The Urgency Room.