The word of the year for 2020 is probably “virus.” You might be tired of hearing the name, but it’s essential; parents are not strangers to protecting their kids from germs. With so much information out there, moms and dads may find it challenging to know which information is accurate.
Let us help you cut through the noise and determine which steps, actions, and facts are most helpful for parents. One of the best antidotes to parental anxiety is knowing the truth about things that could harm their children. When you know the dos and don’ts of combating a virus, you will be better armed in the fight.
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Is There a Vaccine? You Should Probably Get It, Then
This statement may be unpopular in some circles, and yes, certain exceptions apply. Immunocompromised children and adults, for example, may be ineligible for certain vaccines. Moreover, unfortunately, certain viruses still do not have vaccines.
In the example of the flu, however, subject matter experts encourage eligible folks to get the flu vaccine. Of course, some years, the flu vaccine is more effective than others. The guidance can also change, depending on which flu strains the Center for Disease Control (CDC) anticipates.
Late summer/early fall is an excellent time to ask your pediatrician what kind of flu vaccine the CDC recommends. Your pediatrician will be able to give the best guidance for your children based on their ages and health status.
Many people notice that some minor side effects like achiness and low-grade fevers seem to accompany the flu vaccine. These unpleasant feelings are unfortunate, but they are still preferable to the flu itself.
Know the Symptoms
Whatever the virus, you need to find a list of symptoms from a reputable source. Examples of reliable sources include the CDC and the World Health Organization. If you prefer something closer to home, check your local authorities’ web page and social media for guidance.
Local, national, and international authorities don’t just provide a trustworthy list of symptoms; they can advise you on next steps. These subject matter experts can also provide helpful information like where and how to get tested for a virus. They may also tell you how to protect others if you believe or know you or your children are sick.
Having a difficult time distinguishing between the flu and Coronavirus? Know that the Coronavirus usually does not begin with a runny nose.
Pay Attention to Severe Symptoms
If you notice severe symptoms (difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, high fevers, chest pain), in you/your child, don’t wait. Go to the Emergency Room.
Unable to get in to see your regular primary care provider? If you or your child have symptoms that you would typically address with your normal doctor, consider urgent care. Urgent care is best-suited to important, but less-severe, symptoms that would simply add to patient strain at an ER.
When It Comes to a Virus, An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
When it comes to preventing a virus in your family, the dos and don’ts from the experts are straightforward.
You and your kids should have already been regularly washing your hands. Concerns about a virus are as good an excuse as any to reinforce good habits, though! Wash your hands with soap (at least 20 seconds), or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
Everyone should wash their hands before eating, after going to the bathroom, and after coughing or sneezing. Post reminders in high-traffic areas and in bathrooms in your home. Come up with a song or poem for your kids to perform while they wash their hands.
Kids can sing “Happy Birthday” twice. You might also want to search for a list of songs that may appeal to different age groups.
Make sure you regularly clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces. This includes screens, keyboards, phones, counter and table tops, cabinets, handles, and floors.
Stay close to home to avoid spreading or catching viruses. Especially if you or your children are immunocompromised, have high blood pressure, or chronic respiratory illnesses, staying home is important.
When a virus is going around, keep active and maintain a healthy diet! These healthy habits help keep your immune system up and running. They also help little bodies grow and stay healthy.
Remind your kids to avoid touching their faces, since this can be a way for viruses to enter the body. This bit of guidance is particularly hard with very small children, which is why frequent handwashing matters.
Older kids may enjoy making a game out of not touching their faces. Think of a funny code word to say when you see someone getting ready to touch their face. This reminder can be a fun way to practice an important habit!
Although storing nonperishable goods in case of an emergency is always prudent, masks should not be one of those things.
Avoid stocking up on masks. Hospitals and healthcare workers need those masks, and hoarding of this item creates shortages. Furthermore, if you and your kids are healthy, masks are unlikely to do much good.
Twin Cities Kids Club is Here For You and the Community
There are many benefits to a free TCKC membership. A TCKC membership gets you access to free and low-cost family-friendly events, classes, and dining in the Twin Cities area. We also give you access to discount codes with unlimited redemption rates.
Twin Cities Kids Club has guided you through cold and flu season before. TCKC is a company started by parents, so we know how seriously you take your children’s health. We’re committed to bringing Twin Cities moms and dads the best community information available.
We also know that strong families mean strong communities, and vice versa. You tap into the benefits of a flourishing, active community when you involve your kids in local activities. Sign up for a free TCKC membership; build holistic family wellness with strong community relationships, fitness classes, and family meals.