#childsafety | Guide for parents to keep their children safe during the Covid-19 pandemic

If your child is facing any early symptoms of cold/flu, do not self-medicate them.By Dr. Usha Chennuru

Parents have an inherent instinct to protect their young ones. They are ready to walk miles to ensure the safety of their children. The virus outbreak has instilled everyone with fear and has made healthy living a mantra for many. Therefore, the need to transition to a healthier lifestyle has become paramount. By following simple steps and being aware of all medical precautions advised by paediatricians, parents can keep their children fit during these unprecedented times.

Here are some things that you can do to ensure the pink of your little one’s health –

Focus on hand hygiene

As compared to elders, children approach life with a very carefree attitude. They run after things that entice them and are curious to touch almost anything with their hands. Therefore, parents must teach their children about the value of washing their hands at regular intervals and especially before eating. Several reports suggest that one should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. In case you are travelling with your child, then encourage hand sanitization under your supervision. Sanitizers that contain a minimum of 60% alcohol should be used.

Watch the mask

Wearing a mask every time we step out or are around others has become an inevitable part of our lives during the pandemic. Parents should explain the importance of wearing a mask to their children; also teach them how to wear it and why they should avoid frequently touching their mask. You can even practice wearing one with them so that they learn how to wear it correctly. Out of the available options, parents must ensure they purchase the right mask size that covers their child’s nose and mouth properly.

Take expert opinion

If your child is facing any early symptoms of cold/flu, do not self-medicate them. Parents should immediately contact their family doctor or licensed medical professional to seek their advice. Although children have strong immune systems, lack of timely attention might have adverse outcomes.

ORS – Effective solution

It is quite common for children to fall prey to diarrhoea, which often leads to dehydration. It causes an acute reduction in the water and electrolyte levels in the body. To prevent dehydration, give your child WHO approved Oral Rehydration Solution which can be quickly and effectively administered at home. The usual dosages for children below 2, between 2-10, and over 10 years of age are 500 ml/day, 1000ml/day and 2000 ml/day, respectively. While administering the solution, do ensure that the entire packet is mixed at one time.

Ensure healthy meals

A balanced diet is essential for the overall growth and development of a child’s body. The right combination of proteins, minerals, vitamins and fibres, helps to boost your child’s immunity. And building a robust immune system is definitely the need of the hour. Parents should also discourage their children from consuming fat-rich, sugary and processed items. Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables will work tremendously towards keeping your child healthy and active.

Keep them engaged

With all outdoor activities coming to a halt, children have been restricted to the confines of four walls. Though inevitable, these times require increased attention to a child’s mental well-being. Parents must keep their young one engaged by continuously encouraging them to participate in online activities, develop a hobby, follow their passion and acquire new skills. Motivate them to join any online dance, Zumba or yoga lessons. In the present times, families need to sit together and talk. By indulging in daily ‘family-time’, you can build a stronger bond with your child.

In this battle against the virus, these steps will help reduce stress levels. Though difficult, these hours will pass!

(The author is Director, Medical Services with Cipla Health Ltd. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult experts and medical professionals before starting any therapy or medication. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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