The pandemic has affected the physical and mental health of people across the country. Around one-third of American adults experienced sleeping problems, while nearly half were not hopeful about the future.
But the health crisis has affected the children as well. Nearly 15 percent of youth between 13 and 17 years old experienced bipolar disorder and depression. And with the restrictions gradually eased, schools might reopen soon. In this situation, parents’ concern for their children’s safety can increase as new variants of the virus have emerged. This also comes as the authorities have yet to conduct sars-cov-2 inhibitor screenings for vaccines’ efficacy on children.
But parents can still prepare their children and teach them how to remain healthy in the middle of the pandemic. Here are some things parents can do to help their children healthy while waiting for the vaccine to become available for them
Time and again, medical professionals have promotedhandwashing as one way to stop the spread of coronavirus. They can become infected by the virus if they hold their face when the virus is on their hands. To encourage the habit of washing their hands, parents should practice it at home with their children.
They can practice it frequently so they’ll get used to it and practice it as well when they’re in school. The children should also be taught to wash their hands after they sneeze, cough, and blow their noses. They should also wash their hands after leaving a public place or when they handle their face mask.
They can also use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol when soap and water are not available. Parents can also provide their children with wipes and a hand sanitizer when they start face-to-face classes again.
Wear a Mask
Wearing a mask is a good way for the children to protect themselves from the virus. In addition to wearing a mask, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also advises people to observe social distancing, especially if they encounter people who are not a part of their household.
Since two mitigation measures help protect the children from getting infected, parents should constantly remind them about it. They can also ensure the masks the children are using fits them well. It should also be comfortable to wear so the children will not be tempted to remove it while out in public.
Additionally, the parents should remind their children to avoid sharing items with their classmates when they go back to physical classes, including masks, pens, and food. If it’s necessary to borrow items, it’s best to wipe them down before using them.
Have a Healthy Diet
Having a well-balanced diet is also another way for children to remain healthy in the middle of a pandemic. Their diet should be a good mixture of proteins, carbohydrates, and minerals. This prevents diseases and allows their bodies to function well. Their diet should include a lot of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains.
Additionally, they can avoid having too much sugar in their diet. This means they should limit their soda consumption to have a healthier diet. Instead of soda, they can drink plenty of water. They should also have healthier snacks.
Rest Whenever Necessary
Sleeping is important to allow the body to repair itself and support the immune system in its fight against infections. Children also require more sleep compared to adults. Their sleep requirements range from 8 to 10 hours for teenagers between 18 and 13 up to 12 to 16 hours for infants.
Since some children find it challenging to sleep, the parents can help them by limiting the use of electronics before bedtime and taking a warm bath. They can also have a quiet family activity just before bedtime.
Following a routine that includes a specific time to go to sleep also helps children who have issues with it. The parents should encourage the children to follow the schedule consistently so their bodies can adjust and get used to the routine.
Deal with Stress
The current situation has also affected the mental health of the children. After going through online classes for several months, they are anxious about going back to face-to-face classes. Even though they’re able to communicate with their friends virtually, they still miss interacting with them in person.
The parents should check their children regularly and look for any signs of anxiety. They can ask how they feel every so often and focus on assuaging their fears about the current situation.
Helping the children cope with the current situation is the best way for parents to ensure their children remain fit and healthy until everything goes back to normal.