Updated April 5th. We know it can feel overwhelming to read through all of the coronavirus developments and recommendations, especially if you’re a parent worrying about your family’s health while dealing with the closure of a childcare program. To simplify things, we’ve put together the latest recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We’re all still learning about this coronavirus (COVID-19), including scientists, so anytime the CDC releases new information, we’ll let you know.
Here are the latest CDC recommendations:
Understand How COVID-19 Spreads
While scientists work hard on a vaccine, it’s important to understand how COVID-19 spreads so you can avoid exposure.
- The virus spreads “person to person,” so it’s important to avoid coming into close contact with others. Try to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others outside of your family/home. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the virus can be transferred through respiratory droplets. Standing close to an infected person can put you at high risk due to the chances of these respiratory droplets being inhaled or landing on your nose or mouth.
- It’s also possible to become infected by touching surfaces or objects that have come into contact with the virus. For instance, if an infected person sneezes on a shopping cart, and another person touches the cart, then rubs their nose or eyes, the second person can also become infected.
Protect Yourself and Your Family
Parents’ top priority should be protecting themselves first. All family members should practice these steps:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Make sure to be thorough and extend washing time for at least 20 seconds.
- When soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, mouth, and eyes.
- Commit to social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from others) if leaving home.
- To help slow the spread of the virus, wear simple cloth face coverings in public places where it is difficult to maintain a distance of 6 feet between yourself and others, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. Cloth face coverings should not be put on children under the age of 2.
Have a Household Plan of Action
To keep your family healthy, the CDC recommends having a household plan. Here are some key points to consider:
- Carefully assess family members in the home who are more vulnerable (the elderly or people with underlying health conditions) for symptoms.
- Call or text neighbors to see what their plans are. This is an opportunity for you to explain that you and your family are taking the outbreak seriously and you’re committed to social distancing (this prevents neighbors from stopping by). Discuss and exchange any important local information such as store closures or organizations offering resources.
- Make an emergency contact list of all local health services, medical centers, emergency rooms or doctors’ offices.
- Create a community contact list that includes family, friends, teachers, employers, babysitters, or anyone else you want to stay connected with throughout the duration of the outbreak.
- Disinfect objects, areas, and surfaces that frequently touched. Here are the disinfecting and cleaning guidelines outlined by the CDC.
Caring for Someone Who is Sick in Your Home
The CDC states that most people who become infected with COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms and should recover from the illness at home to prevent spread. However, the CDC also explains that:
“Older adults and people of any age with certain serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness and should seek care as soon as symptoms start.”
If someone in your household is sick, consider these safety precautions when caring for them:
- Monitor them for emergency signs, including difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, or bluish lips or face. These are not all-inclusive. Contact your doctor for any signs or symptoms that are severe or concerning.
- Make sure the sick family member is isolated from the rest of the family and the community.
- Wash your hands every time you come into contact with the individual showing symptoms.
- Wear a mask when you’re caring for the individual showing symptoms.
BabySparks is committed to staying on top of all COVID-19 developments. Refer to the CDC website or contact your doctor for further information on keeping your family healthy and preventing the spread of the coronavirus.