The ongoing pandemic has changed life as we know it in more ways than one. Amidst the havoc it has and is continuing to wreck, all of us have been battling not just the pandemic, but also the major changes that it has brought with it. With the end of summer vacation and a good...
The ongoing pandemic has changed life as we know it in more ways than one. Amidst the havoc it has and is continuing to wreck, all of us have been battling not just the pandemic, but also the major changes that it has brought with it. With the end of summer vacation and a good two months into what should have been yet another normal academic year, the kids are still stuck at home, trying to cope with online classes, lack of free play time and definitely a dearth of social life. As many parents have resorted to sending kids out to play or get some fresh air with all necessary protection in place, it is imperative to make sure that kids get into the habit of following certain hygiene practices that will go a long way in being safe and healthy during this pandemic.
- Wash hands – Frequent hand washing is undoubtedly the best way to make sure the virus doesn’t stand a chance to enter our system or be passed on to others. Just after entering home, before and after eating and even generally once in about 3 hours, it is a good practice to wash hands with soap and water and when out and about, an alcohol-based sanitizer is the best bet. Sanitizing of hands after coming in contacts with surfaces while outside the home is of prime importance. The general norm of singing ‘the happy birthday song’ twice as they wash their hands is a great practice.
- Social distancing – When it comes to social distancing, the rule is applicable to all of us the same way. More so for the kids and the aged in our families. Since the virus gets transmitted through respiratory droplets from person to person quickly, it is necessary to avoid close contact keeping in mind that we could be in contact with someone who has contracted or is a carrier of the virus. This is why it is essential to avoid unnecessary outings and completely avoid parties or any other gathering.
- Masks, the best shield – Encourage kids to wear masks while interacting with others and also while stepping out for a while. There are different kinds of masks available in the marker from the respirator masks to the regular cloth masks. Choose the one that is best for your child. Masks go a long way in preventing splashes of respiratory droplets while sneezing or coughing and is the best shield for anyone helping in avoiding the spread of this virus.
- Help them identify the common sources of infection – When it comes to safety outside the house, it is important to help them identify and understand the common surfaces that are likely to be touched more often by others. These include the buttons in the elevators, the staircase railings, door knobs etc. Teach them to use tooth picks to press elevator buttons and also to avoid touching these areas whenever possible.
- The non-dominant hand – Teach them the trick of using their non-dominant hand to pick up things that may have come in contact with others, to touch surfaces outside home if necessary. Using the non-dominant hand is helpful to an extent because, we all involuntarily use our dominant hand to touch our face, to eat etc. and thus the use of non-dominant hand to touch other surfaces helps in avoiding the transmission of the virus.
- General hygiene is important too – Making kids understand the importance of covering their mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing is an important part of maintaining hygiene. Coughing into elbows while not having a tissue handy and washing hands thereafter are good practices to follow.
- Sanitize, sanitize! – Getting kids to keep their personal belongings clean and tidy and helping them sanitize frequently used toys and wearing clean masks are imperative in keeping their surroundings germ free.
- Pay attention to their gadgets – The online classes and increased screen times mean the usage of gadgets to a large extent. It is needless to say that keyboards and mobile screens are perfect grounds for harbouring germs. It is important to wash hands thoroughly after usage of gadgets and also to keep these surfaces clean as much as possible.
- Clean clothes – Changing bed linen frequently, and changing clothes once they have been worn outside can be an effective step towards maintaining hygiene during this pandemic. Clothes which have been worn during playtime or while being out should be put for wash once they are home.
- Handling food and beverages – Children should also be encouraged to carry their own water bottles while going out and not share them with their friends. Eating homemade food as much as possible and making sure they make hygienic food choices while outside home will go a long way in keeping them healthy and safe.
While we are having to take extra precautions to be safe during this pandemic in order to stay healthy ourselves and also to help in stopping its spread, most of these hygiene practices are good to adopt as a lifestyle change and will ensure a healthy future for everyone.