By Samuetta Hill Drew
A few months ago an ill wind figuratively blew across the globe called Coronavirus COVID-19. This ill wind caught the world by surprise and unprepared. It brought death and sickness in numbers a majority cannot fathom. These staggering death totals, in our country alone, have surpassed former fatalities associated with past wars.
So as our country begins to ease governmental safety restrictions and reopens some businesses, entertainment venues and other public spaces, it is especially important for us to be mindful that “open does not mean over.” Therefore, everyone needs to continue practicing health safety measures for ourselves and our loved ones, particularly our children.
As the country’s reopening is occurring, schools continue to be closed until the next school year. This means children around the country are still at home. Parents should keep in mind that the transition to being at home will be different for preschoolers, K-5, middle school students, and high school students. While at home it is good for children to stay connected with their friends without spreading the COVID-19 virus.
To help children maintain social connections while social distancing, help your children have phone calls or video chats with their friends. Limit their time with other children. Social distancing continues to be a wise safety practice in slowing the spread of COVID-19. While school is out, children should not have in-person play dates with children from other households.
Encourage your child to play outdoors. It is great for their physical and mental health. When children are playing outside their own homes, it is essential that they remain six feet from anyone who is not in their own household.
If children meet in groups, it can put everyone at risk. Children with COVID-19 may only have mild symptoms, but they can still pass this virus on to others who may be at higher risk, including older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends postponing visits or trips to see older family members and grandparents. Connect virtually or by writing letters or cards and sending communication via emails. Parents should also consider revising travel plans if they include non-essential travel.
Keeping an Eye on Safety is essential as America reopens, and health restrictions are eased by practicing good scientific safety measures like wearing masks and social distancing. These safety measures should be used by children (children under 2 should not wear masks) along with adults as the COVID-19 continues to spread and infect youth.