By Alyssa Abel
If you’re like many parents, you probably have heightened concerns about protecting your children as they navigate school in 2020. The following may help you minimise sick days, stay on top of your child’s overall wellbeing, and protect your family. Please note that these tips are general in nature, information and advice relating to COVID-19 will vary with location and time.
Hopefully, you’re already stocked up with plenty of hand sanitiser and packs of face masks (if required to wear one). It’s wise keep a good supply — straps break readily, and the little ones sometimes take a bath in alcohol-based gels.
If you are among the fortunate to be doing well during this pandemic, pick up some extra supplies for their teacher. Many educators spend a small fortune to keep their classrooms stocked with pencils and paper, and this year many of them are stocking their classrooms with hygiene products as well.
Keeping nutrition in mind when packing lunches will improve your kid’s immune function and make it less likely they’ll get sick if exposed to germs.
Hop on the internet and search for healthy meal prep ideas for school lunches. You can chop and portion your dinner dishes along with their lunchbox-stuffers on a slow evening or weekend morning.
Exercise is a critical for your child at any time, as childhood obesity rates continue to climb. If you decided to homeschool by choice or necessity, your angel could spend hours in front of a screen.
While it’s impossible to negate all risks on the playground due to shared equipment, outdoor activities are generally safer than indoor ones. If you don’t feel safe letting them play on the monkey bars, go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air instead. Hiking is another relatively safe activity if you have a nature area nearby.
Children can have coronavirus anxiety too, and it’s vital to lovingly address their concerns. Try to assuage nervousness by sticking to a routine as much as possible and looking for the positive. Remember that their world changed dramatically — and still may be quite different — and structure can restore a sense of normalcy.
When you talk about the pandemic, try your best to cite factual information from reliable sources, such as the World Health Organization (WHO). Keep the news on the TV for no more than 30 minutes and don’t play it in the background while eating dinner. Discuss the measures you take to stay safer with your children.
When kids — and adults, for that matter — have underslept, they’re much more likely to be susceptible to illness, anxiety and poor mood. Sleep plays a crucial role in immune function, making a good night’s rest one of the best health tips for your child. Plus, better sleep means better focus in school. The amount of sleep your child needs will vary with age.
Your kids may miss their friends desperately, especially if they didn’t return to the traditional classroom as expected. Help your little ones stay social by setting up playdates within your comfort level and state restrictions. Can you meet up with some other families for an outdoor stroll?
People living in certain areas or children with certain health needs may still be required to stay at home — but that doesn’t mean you can’t still mingle virtually!