People are being told to drastically alter their routines and way of life--no restaurant, avoid stores, no play dates. Keeping distance from others is termed social distancing. Why is this so important? Because coronavirus is highly contagious. Avoiding others, when possible, protects your family and slows the spread of this awful infection.
DO NOT rush to the Emergency Department unless your symptoms are severe.
You could increase your risk of exposure unnecessarily.
DO NOT automatically expect to get tested.
There is a limited supply of test. These should be prioritized based on suspicion, exposure, how bad the symptoms are, and if testing may change guidance.
DO STAY AT HOME FOR 14 DAYS if you have suspicion, mild symptoms, and are low risk.
DO limit contact with others as much as possible.
SOCIAL DISTANCING will slow spread.
DO NOT keep your children inside all day.
They will become little monsters, and we adults will become big monsters.
Increase outdoor time with your immediate family who are well. Take walks, ride a bike, take a run, play games.
If you are unable to get outside, add fun and creative indoor adventures for physical activity (e.g. dancing, obstacle courses, yoga).
DO set screen time limits in advance.
Be vocal about them and let your child know where the electronics should be stored at other times of the day.
DO set a schedule.
- * Children should wake up at a reasonable and relatively consistent time to start their day.
- * Start your distance learning the same way daily.
- * Start by reviewing the plan for the day.
- * Include reading, writing, math, and a current event or discussion daily.
- * Schedule in breaks for “recess” and movement. Use web resources like Youtube for family exercise.
Other important thoughts:
1. Please only use daycare programs if you must. We realize work and financial constraints are ever-present, even in these times. The smaller the groups, the less exposure to others, the quicker we will slow the progression of coronavirus and save lives.
2. In-person study groups are strongly discouraged. Children my be asymptomatic and still spread the infection. Furthermore, they may not show symptoms for 14 days after exposure, so they may not even realize they are infected. Instead use apps like Houseparty or other group video chats to help children and teens stay connected to friends.
3. While schools are closed, many counties will continue to provide free meals at dedicated locations. Check your county's school system website for information.
4. We remind parents not to leave immature children alone ever; maturity is not age-based. In Maryland, children under 8 years are not to be left unsupervised. No child under 13 years old can babysit. Again, age is just one factor. Consider each child individually. Any time you leave your child alone, be sure the child knows what to do in case of an emergency and has access to communication.
5. Remember no handshakes, hugs or high fives. Decreases the spread of germs at this important time.