With the holidays rapidly approaching and COVID-19 still present, keeping your children safe is more important than ever before. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to promote safety.
It’s common to have many family members and close friends at parties during the holidays. During a pandemic, you may consider reducing the guest list to include only household family members and other relatives who live in the surrounding area. Relatives that live in other parts of the country may have more cases, which can increase the odds of bringing COVID-19 into your home.
According to the CDC, indoor gatherings pose a greater risk of contracting the virus. A combination of poor air quality due to poor ventilation and close proximity to others in an enclosed space can put loved ones at risk. Consider opening windows and having the party in an open space.
Wash Hands Often
By now pretty much everyone understands the importance of washing their hands often, especially during the pandemic. However, kids don’t often use their conscious mind productively. In the atmosphere of a celebration, their interest is in having fun. Make sure to keep an eye on them and that you provide gentle hand-washing reminders. Per the guidelines established by the CDC, you should wash hands after touching pets, food, garbage, prior to eating, and after using the bathroom.
Children touch things and many of them are things that they shouldn’t touch at all. While away from the home, make it clear to your children that they can’t touch their face until they return home. As a precaution, make sure to carry hand sanitizer. This way when you return to the car after shopping or dining out, you can apply it to further reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
Wearing a mask when unable to social distance will help to keep children safe. Droplets caused by a cough or a sneeze can project onto others. Make sure that children wear it properly, covering both their nose and mouth at all times.
There will be crowds at stores during the holidays. It’s up to you to keep a sharp eye on your children. Before entering a store, make sure they understand not to touch anything, and if they see a friend, they refrain from cuddle, endearment, and handshakes. When possible, consider ordering more of your gifts online.
Per the CDC guidelines, there are five necessary steps with regard to washing your hands. First, run the water and wet your hands completely. Follow by applying soap liberally. Then create a lather by rubbing the hands together. After that, spread the lather all over the hands, including the backs, and then scrub them for a minimum of 20 seconds. Finally, rinse the soap off completely and dry with a clean towel.
This year the holidays may be challenging. However, you can still make them fun and safe for kids. For example, some people are using a drive-through experience for holidays like Halloween and Christmas, allowing children to see the sights without exposure. Churches are also adopting a drive-in format to provide church services in a safe environment. Virtual platforms also prove beneficial for visiting Santa, allowing kids to talk live and give their list from the safety of their home. While Zoom and FaceTime may not be ideal, they offer a safe way to stay connected to loved ones.
The holidays often come with anxiety. This holiday season you can reduce it and keep your children healthy by practicing safety first. The virus will eventually leave and life will return to normal. For now, make the most of the holiday season.