4 Ways To Protect Your Children’s Health During The COVID-19 Pandemic

by Kroger Health Staff

Last Updated: August 13, 2020

According to the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children do not appear to be at a higher risk for COVID-19 than adults, with the majority of total cases around the world affecting adults. However, with recent reports of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) infecting children, it’s still very important to protect your kids and their peers from this possible evolution of the virus. As summer continues and the world begins another phase of the ‘new normal’, there are more temptations than ever for kids to break the protective habits developed over the past few months. Here are a few ways to continue to keep children safe as they enjoy their favorite summer activities:
  1. Teach children to wash their hands.
    It is one of the most effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19, so teaching your kids handwashing skills now is more vital than ever. In addition to giving frequent reminders and leading by example, try teaching the five easy steps for handwashing to make it a fun family activity.
  2. Wear a face covering in public (children two years and older).
    Masks can be a difficult adjustment, particularly for young children, as they rely on seeing face signals in order to feel safe. Slow introduction and practice to get children used to face coverings can be helpful, both for their own personal use and the comfort of being around mask wearing adults. Try introducing masks through imaginative play, dressing up as doctors or nurses so they become used to the sensation while educating them on the protective measures masks provide. You can also try integrating mask decoration into arts and crafts time, so kids make masks they actually want to wear.
  3. Wash children’s toys frequently.
    COVID-19 can live on a variety of surfaces for several hours and up to several days, making it imperative to disinfect consistently, and clean common areas and shared objects. Particularly with children’s toys, frequent washing and disinfecting can help stop the spread of germs. Disinfect toys with the warmest water possible and antibacterial soap or launder plush items and dry thoroughly.
  4. Stay socially connected through phone and video chats.
    While the summer months are typically filled with camp, playdates, and trips to the beach, theme parks, and vacations, the CDC is encouraging parents to keep kids socially distanced while out of school. One opportunity for the ‘new normal’ is virtual playdates, where kids can play together from the safety of their own homes or yards via two-way video chat. For older children who play interactive computer games, try finding a program where kids can share screens to show each other what they’re working on.

Although this summer will look a little different than those prior, there are a few small adjustments you can make to keep your children and your families safe. Try using interactive activities to educate children on safety measures to prepare them for the inevitable new-normal once schools, camps, and recreational activities begin to reopen.

Disclaimer: The information in this story is accurate as of its publication. However, the situation surrounding COVID-19 is ever-evolving. We are working to keep our stories up-to-date as changes occur, but we also encourage everyone to check news and recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and their local authorities.