With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continuing to spread across the globe, it is understandable for parents to be scared for their children. While protection and avoidance of the virus can be done easily at home, there just can’t be any guarantees when kids are aboard public Transportations or in schools and other public places. In Canada, travelling during spring break is also becoming a concern.
So, how could you protect your kids from the Coronavirus while they are on public commute or while on spring break travel? Here are several tips on what you can do:
As a parent, you should keep yourself abreast of the latest Coronavirus news. So, it is best if you know that as of March 10, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 113,702 confirmed coronavirus cases in the whole world, with 93 cases coming from Canada. From these Canadian cases, 39 come from British Colombia, while 36 are from Ontario. Alberta has 14 cases, while Quebec has 4. Seventy-nine percent of these confirmed cases are over the age of 40, with the same percentage being travellers.
Based on these figures, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) stated that the COVID-19 presents a low public health risk to the general Canadian population. It also pointed out that while an outbreak in the country could happen, the public health system is “prepared to respond”.
You can gather from the update above where it is safe to travel within Canada itself. If you wish to avoid the risk of possibly getting infected, then you can avoid the areas with confirmed cases of the virus infection.
PHAC has also posted the countries with active travel health notices that can guide you in making travel plans with your kids during spring break. These are China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Spain. You need to be aware of the risks, so you can be prepared.
All cruise ship travel, according to PHAC, should be avoided altogether. Based on the cruise ship outbreaks, it was seen that infection is more widespread among people onboard. To ensure that you and your family won’t get infected, then you just have to cancel your plans of a vacation aboard a cruise ship at this time.
You shouldn’t tire of telling your kids to wash their hands with soap and water as often as they can, but especially when they are preparing their food and after using the bathroom. Washing of hands should last for at least 20 seconds.
If your kids don’t have a hygiene pack yet, then maybe it is time to get them one. This should include disposable tissues and an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that they can use when a sink, soap, and water are not readily available. Inform them that the proper way to use a hand sanitizer (it is good to link this to our DIY hand sanitizer article) is to rub it on all parts of the hands, especially in between the fingers, and to let it dry completely instead of wiping it off.
You should also teach them the proper way to cough or sneeze. Either they do it into the bend of their arm or on a tissue, which they should dispose of as soon as possible.
Washing of the hands or using a hand sanitizer after handling a soiled tissue should be done as well. It is important for you to stress to your children how they are not to use their hands to cover their sneezes or coughs. This is one of the sure-fire ways to spread any respiratory illness like the COVID-19.
Although the elderly and people with existing medical conditions or with compromised immune systems are those who are at increased risk for getting infected with the Coronavirus, it is still best if everyone exercise caution at all times. It always pays if you and your kids are always informed of the latest updates and for all of you to know how to protect yourselves from possible infection.