Coronavirus or COVID-19 is making the headlines worldwide. It has infected a lot of people all over the globe, and recently, it has been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
The good news is, children are less susceptible to develop COVID-19, and if they did, chances are, it wouldn’t be fatal.
However, even if the risk isn’t a big one, it still exists. Understandably, parents are worried about their children, especially that they spend a lot of time in public places where they are susceptible to catching a lot of germs and viruses easily.
In this article, we will answer all the questions you might have regarding the Coronavirus. Also, we will include All Mom Needs’ guide on how to protect yourself and your children from getting infected with Coronavirus; let’s get right into it.
Is COVID-19 Dangerous?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the WHO are still studying the effects of the behavior of COVID-19.
One thing that you might find comforting is that a lot of people who are fit and generally have no health issues might not even know they caught the virus and will experience little symptoms just like any common cold. Also, the death rates from the virus are not high so far, although they are alarming.
Who Is at Risk?
People who already have health conditions like heart diseases, diabetes, lung diseases, and those with compromised immunity are more likely to develop the severe form of the illness.
How Is the Disease Transmitted?
COVID-19 causes respiratory tract infection. This means that it can be passed from one person to the other through respiratory secretions. Sneezing and spitting without covering your mouth help spread the infection.
Also, scientists believe that the virus can contaminate surfaces, and one might pick up the infection if they touch these surfaces.
Should I Make My Kids Wear Face Masks All the Time?
A healthy person won’t avoid the infection by wearing a face mask in public areas. Actually, wearing a face mask can increase the risk of picking up COVID-19 because you will touch your face all the time without realizing you are, sometimes, with contaminated hands.
It is a good idea to wear a face mask if you are feeling sick or you are experiencing symptoms of respiratory tract infection to avoid spreading the disease to others, for instance, your children.
Also, you should wear a mask if you are a health care worker.
Before wearing the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap. Check if the mask has any holes or tears and then orient it so that the metal strip is facing upwards. And the colored side of the mask is facing outwards.
After you discard the mask, make sure to perform hand hygiene using soap and water.
What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?
The symptoms of the disease are variant. The majority of patients experience fever, tiredness, cough, and difficulties breathing. Others have aches, nasal congestion, sore throat, or even diarrhea. These symptoms can vary from mild attacks that need no specific treatment to developing a severe illness that requires hospital admission with flaring of heart diseases and diabetes.
How Long Is the Incubation Period of COVID-19?
The incubation period of the disease is usually around five days. However, it is estimated to range from one to fourteen days.
What Should You Do If Your Child Is Experiencing Any of These Symptoms?
If your child is experiencing these symptoms, don’t panic. You probably noticed that most of us had experienced these symptoms before, and it was merely a common cold. If you live in an area that is affected by COVID-19 or your child has been in contact with someone who is diagnosed with the disease, you should seek medical care straight away.
However, before you head to your doctor’s office or emergency department, call ahead and let them know about the situation to make sure they will be taking the right measures.
Also, close contact increases the risk of infection; if you have more than one child, and one of them developed these symptoms, you all should seek medical advice.
How Long Can the Coronavirus Survive on the Surface?
The virus is still under study, which is why no there aren’t any accurate studies showing exactly how long it can stay on surfaces. Yet, since the virus seems to behave in the same way the rest of the other Coronaviruses do, studies suggest that it may persist from a few hours up to several days on top of surfaces.
What to Do to Protect Your Child from Coronavirus?
1. Good Hand Hygiene
It is critical to practice good hand high hygiene to protect yourself and your children from the novel Coronavirus.
Teach your children how to wash their hands effectively. Scientists recommend that you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It is preferred if you use an alcohol-based hand rub as well.
Encourage your children to wash their hands right after they come from school and after using the bathroom.
Make sure that your children wash their hands before eating and explain the situation to make them more cooperative.
Lastly, it’s important not to touch your eyes, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands and to cover your mouth and nose whenever you cough or sneeze.
2. Avoid Crowded Places and Hand Shaking
This will lower your chances of catching the disease. Children are used to handshaking, so parents and teachers should instruct children about how to contact each other and keep a reasonable distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) between anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
In fact, the Center for Disease Control recommends that people keep a distance of more than 6 feet from one another in areas where the disease is spreading. This way, you are avoiding catching the tiny droplets that a sick person produces while talking, coughing, or sneezing.
So, trafficked public places like schools, libraries, malls, and supermarkets are better avoided for the time being.
3. Stock up on Your Essentials and Medications
One way that you can avoid the need to go to the supermarket and risk any contagious interactions is to stock up on a month’s worth of essentials like food, toilet paper, wipes, and diapers.
Also, if you have any chronic illnesses for which you are prescribed certain medications, you should get enough supply of these medications in case of a two-week quarantine.
4. Avoid Depending on Hand Sanitizers
Some people don’t realize that hand sanitizers aren’t as effective as washing their hands with soap and water. Actually, a lot think that sanitizers are better when this is not true.
One thing that I should mention is that some parents depend on products like Purell to make sure their children have clean hands before eating. However, you should know that such products only work when they completely dry, and a lot of children are not patient enough to wait for this to happen.
So, instead of doing this, you should instruct your children to avoid snacks on-the-go and wait until they make it back home to eat. This way, they can properly wash their hands before eating and avoid catching a lot of infections, not just Coronavirus.
5. Keep Your Shoes and Bags by the Door
Viruses stay on the top of surfaces and on the ground. So, your child might be carrying the infection on their shoes or their backpacks. This is why it is a good idea to encourage them to remove their shoes by the door and leave them outside. This also applies to backpacks and bags that were left on tables on the ground for a while.
6. Change Your Clothes
To be honest, there is very little chance that your child might be carrying an infection on their clothes. Yet, it is such an easy precaution to have your child freshen up and change into something rather clean once they make it back from school.
The same applies to all of us, especially to healthcare workers. You or your child might have been exposed to a sick person throughout the day, and there’s a little chance your clothes caught the infection.
7. Pay Extra-Attention to High-Risk Family Members
As mentioned above, the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more vulnerable and have a higher risk of developing a severe illness. This is why you should be mindful of your immune-compromised family members and give them more care.
Make sure they wash their hands more frequently, and if possible, they should try to reduce contact with other people and avoid handshaking, hugging, or kissing as a precaution.
8. Keep Your Home Clean
It is always a good idea to use detergents and make sure that your home stays clean. The best way to go with this is to make sure to clean all of the highly used surfaces like the doorknobs, railings, the refrigerator, the microwave, tablets, phones, toys, and anything else that you or your children touch all the time.
It is better to leave these surfaces wet for 30 seconds to make sure you have effectively managed to kill microbes and viruses.
9. Don’t Panic
Coronavirus has become a significant health issue in some areas. However, in most areas, it hasn’t. 80% of the affected cases experience minimal symptoms so, unless you have been instructed by your government to stay at home or take any safety measures, you don’t need to stop your daily life or go out of your way to avoid the infection.
Sticking to the simple precautions mentioned above, like hand hygiene and avoiding close contact with people who have symptoms of respiratory tract infection, is enough to keep you safe.
One more thing that you should avoid doing is stressing yourself by spending most of your time reading the news about the new health crisis and people getting infected here and there. If you live in a relatively safe area, then all that you will get out of this is anxiety.
Simply trust that your government is doing its best to make sure that you and your family members are safe, and there are hospitals filled with doctors who care for your health and will take all the necessary measures to decrease your impact with the virus.
Protecting yourself and your children from the novel Coronavirus requires nothing more than what we’ve all learned in health classes. Because the virus is new, there are no current available vaccinations. Yet, it is not difficult to ensure the safety of your family members. May we all stay blessed!