Combating coronavirus: Let the kids go out, but ensure safety
Dubai - While online fatigue is becoming a real issue for everyone, children are all the more tired of not being able to see people face to face.
The UAE has begun easing restrictions put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19, but parents are mired in apprehensions.
While online fatigue is becoming a real issue for everyone, children are all the more tired of not being able to see people face to face. As restrictions are lifted, the one doubt all parents have is - can I still take my child to public places?
Research has indicated that children are less susceptible to developing the most serious complications of coronavirus but they are not immune to it. Right now, the best strategies for containing the disease are the ones we already know. Staying away from others as much as possible, wearing face masks and gloves, keeping six feet apart from others when going out and thoroughly washing hands.
Stay close to your neighbourhood, enjoy solo outdoor areas
Dr Titty Mary Thomas, specialist family medicine, Aster Clinic - JLT said: "The general advice is to practise all basic safety measures. However, while going out, this means sticking close to home and avoiding large groups of people. You can't be sure that popular public spaces like playgrounds are risk-free. For city dwellers like us, it is recommended going to big, wide-open parks when available, where kids can practise physical distancing and not touch equipment. We must also remember that there are other options for solo outdoor play, like riding on a cycle or a bike."
She added: "As always, encourage hand-washing when children come in from outside and before and after meals. There's some evidence that paper towels are more hygienic than hand dryers in public bathrooms. Hand washing is also more effective than hand sanitiser, though the latter can be used when hand washing is not an option."
Avoid crowded places with children
Doctors also suggest that children must avoid areas buzzing with people.
Dr Mohamed Shafeeq, specialist internal medicine, Medeor Hospital, Dubai, said: "Children must try to avoid being in crowds as their immunity is much less as compared to others. Try to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing. Also, it is important that people who feel like coughing or sneezing should cover their mouth and nose or they should learn how to do it on their elbow."
While prioritising children's mental health, medics also feel it's imperative to educate them about social distancing. This is gaining urgency as little ones gradually begin to venture out with their parents to remain physically healthy and active.
Change outside clothes
Dr Rasha Alani, specialist family medicine, Medcare Medical Centre Khawaneej, said: "During this pandemic, our psychological health is very important. Let's take the chance with our families to gain healthy life with all the precautions that protect us. Encourage kids to accompany their parents for a walk with protection equipment. After returning, hand washing is very important. Changing outside clothes also proves to be effective."
Similarly, wellness coaches acknowledge that children often need fresh air and movement.
Girish Hemnani, life coach and energy healer, said: "Kids are bundles of energy filled with enthusiasm and creativity. Keeping in mind that they love to express, play and connect with others, the beaches and parks are best places to let them feel the freedom and break the pattern of being indoors. So, any open-air recreation or just running freely ensures that the healthy expression of energy and creativity is taking place."
Enjoy running and cycling tracks
While people are craving guidance on how to adapt to the new normal with their little ones and many decide to step outside their homes, experts reiterate don't let your guard down.
Dhiren Harchandani, a transformative coach, said: "As things start opening up and we are able to venture outdoors, it's paramount that we are conscious of the threat, and take the necessary precautions like keeping distance and wearing a mask. Dubai has great beaches, running tracks and bicycle tracks that allow children to be active while still being safe."
He added: "While physical activities keep the immunity strong, making sure our little humans get quality sleep is additive to their immunity. Moreover, there's overwhelming evidence that some sort of stillness for five minutes and conscious breathing also strengthens their immunity."