With the increase in COVID-19 cases in Florida and Hillsborough county, it may be helpful to have another conversation with your child about staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some tips to help keep your child safe from COVID-19. 

Watch your child for COVID-19 illness

COVID-19 symptoms can appear different from individual to individual. Generally, COVID-19 symptoms are milder in children than in adults. It is important to know and understand the symptoms associated with the virus to protect your family. According to KidsHealth, COVID-19 symptoms in children include the following: 

  • a fever that lasts several days
  • belly pain
  • vomiting or diarrhea
  • a rash
  • red, cracked lips
  • red eyes
  • swelling of the hands or feet
  • joint pain
  • dizziness
  • vision problems
  • a headache
  • looking pale

If you notice your child has any of these symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider for guidance. 

Keep Children Healthy

Taking Preventative actions can decrease the chances of COVID-19 entering your family. Teach your child proper hand-washing techniques, ensuring they are washing their hands with soap and water thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Explain that washing their hands can help keep them healthy and safe from the germs associated with the virus. It will also help stop the spread from one surface or person to another.

Wearing a mask is also an important preventative action. If you are going out in public, Hillsborough County has now mandated a mask wearing policy. If you are out in a public space, you must wear a face mask. Children under the age of 8 must also wear a face mask. Face masks may be scary for some children and they may not want to wear them. Try finding face masks with their favorite cartoon character to encourage them to wear them! 

Staying active

While we all feel safer at home, it is important for your child to stay active and exercise. Encourage your child to engage in outside play. Sometimes outside play isn’t an option. Don’t let that deter your child from remaining active. Inside active activities like stretching and dancing help children stay active as well. Here’s a few activities you can do with your child inside and outside to help encourage them to stay active. 

Staying socially connected is a vital part of your child’s mental well-being. They may miss family and friends whom they haven’t been able to interact with since the pandemic started. Having a video chat via Facetime or Zoom are great alternatives to face-to-face interactions. 

Champions also offers virtual playgroups for children and parents to participate in to help them stay socially connected with other children in their age range. 

Help child cope with stress

The COVID-19 pandemic can be a very stressful time for people of all ages. Watch your child for signs of stress and help them cope appropriately. Supporting your child and helping them cope with stress helps them feel secure and protected. Check out our previous blog posts about managing and coping with stress and ways to support your child’s mental health for tips.

Links to Resources:

Kids Health COVID-19 Facts

Hillsborough County Face Mask Mandate

Kids on the Block – Wear Your Mask Video

Managing and Coping with Stress

Kids At-Home Summer Activities

Keeping Kids Active at home