Health Care

Keep Your Family Healthy

Even in the middle of a disease outbreak, there are ways to reduce family stress by taking advantage of teachable moments and being present and available to your children. It’s important to talk with them using equal parts caution, calmness and common sense. T&S has picked up some good advice from different authorities, so we wanted to share!

don’t skip necessary doctor appointments.
Yes, we’re supposed to keep our distance from others, but it’s still important to get seen for illnesses, injuries and routine vaccinations (check with your pediatrician first). Do yourself and your family a favor and don’t just Google symptoms.

be present for your kids.
Take a walk with them, read books together, cook, watch a movie, or just sit and listen to what they have to say. They don’t need new toys or strict restrictions on screen time (find educational apps and websites) right now, but they do need adult attention and reassurance.

limit what kids see on tv.
Don’t leave the television on all day, especially if you have young children. If older kids want to watch the news, do it with them, and have a constructive discussion about what you see.

check your own fears at the door before talking to your kids. 
It’s just like the oxygen mask instructions on an airplane—you need to stay calm and get a handle on your own situation before you can help others.

decide what’s important for them to know.
Stick to the basics: Some people are getting sick, and a small percentage of them may die. But when everybody practices social distancing and good hygiene, it can help control the spread. Remember to ask about kids’ fears and concerns, too, and talk about how they can help.

don’t interrupt the routine.
Sure, some things are different right now with everyone camped out at home, but try to stay in a normal rhythm as much as possible. Keep set times for schoolwork, meals and chores, and have kids get dressed and help around the house as usual.

try some fun experiments.
Fill a bowl with water and shake pepper in it to represent germs. Have your kids put their finger in soap water and touch the pepper bowl again. The pepper will push away from the finger, just like good handwashing dispels germs.

Sources: CDC, CNN, NimbusHaus