Hello! Welcome back! Well I need to state we are living through historically unprecedented times. Government bodies are taking a gander at opening up the economy and yet the corona virus is in full swing.
Around this time, many are hoping to create healthier habits, make new goals, set objectives, and think beyond practical boundaries. The thing is, habits influence our own lives and of the ones around us; the present post is about child care in COVID times.
There are so many things out of control right now, but one thing you can control is communication with your child. Kids are already asking so many questions, so let them! Here’s how I recommend initiating a conversation about COVID-19:
- Start by asking what they know. This allows you to start where they are and not give information than they can handle.
- Correct any misinformation they have and you can help them figure out what is real and not.
- Keep it simple and developmentally appropriate.
- It’s OK to not know. You won’t always have all the answers, so it’s more than OK to tell them you’re not sure and you will get back to them.
Sleep, exercise and balanced nutrition are always important for overall health and wellness. In addition, here are some things you can do to model and practice healthy habits with your entire family during this time:
- Limit screen time. We are flooded with information and constant alerts on phones which creates anxiety. Try and aim to be informed and take proper precautions without being obsessive and excessive.
- Maintain routines as much as possible (regular meal times and bedtimes). Consistent routines allow children to know what to expect, which creates a sense of safety and security.
- Keep communication open.
- Do things you enjoy.
Also emergence of COVID-19 has led to widespread concern and to some extent panic among parents, having queries regarding the ramifications of this disease in children and what they will do to stay kids healthy. I will be addressing some of the questions and guidance to parents in this matter.
What are the General Precautions to be taken?
- Clean hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Children should wear a cloth face-covering over their nose and mouth when in public settings. If kids despise the use of masks, then relate it to their favorite superhero character (your mask is as cool as Batman’s).
- Educate your child to cover the mouth and nose with a tissue or flexed elbow while coughing and sneezing. Dispose the tissues immediately and wash hands.
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (like tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks).
- Routinely clean, sanitize, and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, especially toys and games.
- Do not share toys with other groups of infants or toddlers, unless they are washed and sanitized.
- Child care providers should wash their hands before and after washing, feeding, or holding young children.
- To help children maintain social connections while social distancing, help your children have supervised phone calls or video chats with their friends.
Watch your child for any symptoms of COVID illness like..
- Shortness of breath
- Nasal congestion
- Running nose
If any such symptoms are present, stay calm. Talk to a healthcare provider. The doctor will take a detailed history and make an assessment of the severity of the condition. Only if there is a history of close contact with a COVID-19 patient, then testing may be recommended. Follow the instructions and the advice of your pediatrician.
How to keep children active and healthy?
- Breathing exercises not only help to relax but also reduces stress and anxiety. Fun activities in form of games can be incorporated to encourage deep breathing. Activities that require children to exhale, for example blowing bubbles, blowing off crepe paper, inflating balloon, blowing ping pong balls on the floor, blowing through the straw to spread the paint etc.
- Having experience in treating pediatric patients, I have noticed that more and more kids tend to have difficulty in maintaining functional posture at home during various activities. This may be due to poor core muscle strength which could be due to a number of reasons including-
- Kids becoming more interested in video games and television.
- The rising trend of children being less physically active due to intense academic demands.
- An increase in the number of children with developmental delays.
Enlisting few exercises that not only improves core muscle strength but also motor control, motor planning/co-ordination and overall strength-
- Superman position
- Walking wheelbarrow
- Cerebellum also known as the “little brain” is only 10% of our brain volume, has its role in developing fine motor skills that require coordination of small muscle with the eyes like playing piano, drawing, play-dough etc. And it also coordinates our motor output with visual input like finger painting, working a jigsaw puzzle, arranging blocks, kicking a ball rolled to you etc.
- In case your child is in an on-going academic schedule during the current lockdown, then you can enable your children to continue with their education by getting in touch with the class teacher and through e-learning methods.
- Its 6 o’clock in evening and your kid wants to watch cartoon, but you want your kid to do something more productive and fun. Well you can try to do activities that boosts brain and thus improve cognition like scavenger hunt, building fort of blocks, Rubik’s cube, scrabble, playing memory games etc.
So, the next time your child says they’re bored— just play a game!
Hope this blog has given you some ideas and guidance on taking care for your children.
Do let us know what you liked the most about it and share it with your loved ones.
Till then Stay Safe! Stay healthy!
Dr Charmi Parmar
MPT, NDS, CDN