If infected with Coronavirus (Covid-19, SARS-CoV 2), kids may be asymptomatic or show mild symptoms, but are effective transmission carriers and can still get marked lung inflammation. Here are some tips on how to look after little people this winter:
- Stick to social distancing and home isolation where possible. Spread by droplets (and airborne for hours at a time) is well documented, including outdoors. Therefore reduce the chance of exposure by staying home best you can
- Teach kids to wash hands properly and adopt good cough/sneeze etiquette (into elbows). Dispose of tissues properly and minimise touching face or mouths.
- Minimise the risk of bringing germs home. Disinfect high-touch surfaces daily (e.g. keys, handles, light switches) and keep all items that have been outside in public, separate from circulation at home (e.g. wash clothes, don’t wear shoes inside the house, wipe down groceries)
- Reduce transmission by organising virtual catch-ups with older members of the family, limiting play dates or attendance at any gatherings – regardless of the stage of lock down (secondary wave of infections will occur). Catch up by video and phone calls instead.
- Keep kids healthy. Eat lots of fresh vegetables, fruit, play outdoors. Talk to them about Covid-19 and what it means; be honest about their feelings and yours. Have as much fun as you can at home, keep it creative and interesting. Develop routine and keep screen time to less than 2 hours per day.
- Take special precaution if your child has asthma, allergies, diabetes, anaemia or iron deficiency, active fever or acute illnesses, is underweight, or has longstanding health conditions or immune deficiencies. Stay home and avoid visitors for the time being
- For kids with asthma, ensure they get regular spirometry, an asthma action plan, have their inhalers reviewed and go swimming regularly (to improve their lung capacity)
- Make sure they get a flu shot this month – it’s free for kids 6 months to 5 years old, but we recommend it for all kids over 6 months of age. If any vaccinations are missing from early childhood, now’s the time to catch up
- Give kids a mask when you go out, or a face cloth. Stay more than 2 metres away from anyone else. Limit use of public restrooms if you can.
Take good care and talk to your Osana GP if you have any concerns at all.