Keep Children Healthy during

Keep Children Healthy during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Clean your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, and ask your child to do the same. Learn more and watch a video on how to correctly wash your hands.

Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available. Teach your child to use hand sanitizer to cover all the surfaces of their hands and rub their hands together until they feel dry. If your child is under the age of 6, supervise them while hand sanitizer is used.

  • Wear a mask

Make sure that everyone in your household wears a mask when in public and when around people who do not live in your household (if they are 2 years of age or older). Ensure that your child properly and appropriately wears their masks.

Some kids can find wearing a mask difficult. If your child finds it difficult, alternatives may be suggested.

  • Avoid close contact

Make sure that your child and everyone else in your home are at least 6 feet away from those who do not live with them and from those who are ill (such as coughing and sneezing).

  • Cover coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue while coughing or sneezing, throw your tissue into the nearest garbage bin, and wash your face. Encourage your child and all members of the household to do the same.

  • Bring your child for their healthcare visits

Routine well-child visits and vaccine visits, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, are important.

To inquire about any upcoming appointments or to ask when your child’s vaccines are due, call your child’s healthcare provider.

Ask your child’s healthcare provider what steps they are taking to separate those who may be ill from stable patients. Some healthcare providers can opt to postpone in-person appointments, which would be dependent on your community’s condition and the individual care plan of your child.

  • Bring your child for well-child visits and vaccine visits

At well-child visits, your child’s healthcare provider can verify the growth and development of your child. With the CDC’s free Milestone Tracker app, you can also monitor your child’s developmental milestones.

By shielding them from vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccines are a vital part of keeping your child safe. For illnesses such as measles, flu (influenza), whooping cough (pertussis), and other diseases that can spread from person to person, there are reliable vaccines.While there is no vaccine to help protect against COVID-19 yet, all of your recommended vaccinations should be given to your child.

  • Get a flu vaccine

The single best way to avoid influenza is to get a flu vaccine.

By the end of October each year, the CDC recommends that anyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine (with rare exceptions). During healthcare appointments, you and your child can get a flu vaccine, or you can find additional locations at vaccine finder.or external icon.

Having a flu vaccine could decrease your child’s risk of getting sick, being hospitalized, or dying from the flu. Having a flu vaccine for you and your family will also help protect those around you who may be more prone to serious flu diseases, such as babies and young children, older adults, pregnant women, and those with some medical conditions.

In order to help avoid over-burdening of the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is particularly necessary for this upcoming flu season. Both COVID-19 and influenza are infectious diseases that can impair breathing and have similar symptoms but are caused by various viruses. Find out more about the similarities and variations between COVID-19 and the flu.

  • Help your child stay active
  • Regular physical activity can enhance the physical and mental health of your child.
  • Ensure that your child remains engaged every day by taking regular preventive steps. Learn more about the amount of physical activity your child should receive every day.
  • Find strategies to make physical activity a part of the life of your child.
  • By leading an active lifestyle yourself and making physical exercise a part of the everyday routine of your family, set a good example.
  • Help your child stay socially connected
  • Via phone or video chats, reach out to friends and family.
  • Write family members cards or letters that they may not be able to meet.
  • Check to see if the school has tips and instructions for your child to help meet your child’s social and emotional needs. Some schools and non-profits provide tools for social and emotional learning, such as the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning External Icon and The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence External Icon.
  • Help your child cope with stress

For both adults and adolescents, COVID-19 can be stressful. The CDC has also created many resources to help you care for the mental health and well-being of your child, to learn more about signs of stress in children, ways to encourage your child, and how to take care of your own mental health. The COVID-19 Parental Resource Kit includes resources to help you understand the social, cognitive, and mental health issues of your child according to their age group and support their well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.The Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers Basics page offers advice about how to handle common parenting issues, such as tantrums and crying, and tips on what you can do to create a better, balanced relationship with your young children.

  • Ask about school meal services

If school is closed for in-person learning for any or all students, consult with your child’s school about plans to resume meal services. Many schools can continue to provide meals in various ways, such as encouraging families to pick up meals at school or providing meals at other locations for grab and go.

  • Consider taking extra care.

In addition to following the above guidelines, if your child has an impairment or a cognitive or behavioral condition, consider taking extra precautions.

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