In the current scenarios of self – isolation where everybody is forced to stay indoors with minimum or no interaction with the outside world, the parents have a huge task on their hands. They have children who are constantly at home and the challenge of keeping them gainfully occupied.
Children although informed about this pandemic do not yet comprehend the risk of the transmission aspect strongly enough. Parents have a daunting task on hand of preventing the spread of this disease through their children to themselves and others and vice versa.
With the 21 day lock down period things could get worse if we do not practice proper hygiene while cooped up with each other in the house.
In a positive development to this whole gloomy scenario it has come to light that children have been the least affected by this dreaded virus in India. The only case where a child tested positive for COVID- 19 emerged in Kerala. This however does not mean that children are immune to the disease. In fact, parents have a greater responsibility to ensure that our children do not join the growing list of COVID – 19 affected patients.
It is a known fact that children with pre -existing ailments will be at a higher risk.
So let us then look at the important steps that we can take at home as parents to do our bit in helping the spread of this pandemic.
As a first step we must put a stop to all sleep overs and play dates. We must reduce the movement of our children and those of others from house to house. It must be kept in mind that even though the children may not be affected, if somebody in their household is affected they may become silent and asymptomatic carriers with the risk of infecting all that they come in contact with.
We must put an end to them going outdoors even to play by themselves .Children have the habit of touching surfaces and then outing their fingers to their mouth or to touch their face and eyes so in case they touch some contaminated surfaces and then subsequently touch themselves or others they house the risk of infecting huge numbers of people that they come in contact with. The most common areas where the COVID – 19 virus could thrive would be railings, parked cars, wooden benches in parks, metal surfaces, staircases and so on.
Strict hygiene checks must be done by parents to ensure washing of hands, clean clothes, baths and other measures to ensure cleanliness and safety of the children, including discouraging them from nose picking, sucking their thumbs and so on.
The importance of using tissues and napkins must be taught.
Regular information and education on COVID – 19 and how to keep it at bay through proper hygiene must be imparted .With schools being closed and no teachers available to inform the children about Coronavirus the parents must assume the role of teachers and regularly teach and inform the children about this disease and the importance of staying fit and healthy through practical easily understood examples.
If the parents work together as a force to educate their children, they will be one of the biggest resources in helping to curb the spread of this pandemic!