The Kids are Out!: This Doctor Shares How to Keep Your Kids Safe During Alert Level 1

After two years of being cooped up at home, the entire family is ready to stretch their legs outside and enjoy a meal at your favorite restaurant once more. It’s highly tempting to be out and about, especially with cases decreasing. However, we must remember that the pandemic is still very much present. It would be worthwhile to keep safety as our number one priority when going to the mall and dining in restaurants with the kids. We asked General Pediatrician and Child Health Specialist Dr. Joanna Pamela Cuayo-Estanislao, popularly known as Doc Joey, about a few, helpful tips you can take note of for when you have a family day out. Read on!

The Kids are Out!: This Doctor Shares How to Keep Your Kids Safe During Alert Level 1


According to the Philippine Pediatric Society, mask wearing is recommended for children who are two years of age and above. Wearing a mask has been proven to effectively reduce our chances of contracting and passing on the virus. It’s worth emphasizing how important this practice is especially if your kids cannot get vaccinated yet.

“Train your kids how to wear a mask properly and to keep it on so long as there are other people around. If you intend to be outside for two hours, for example, see if your child will be able to keep their masks on for that length of time.” Doc Joey

 


You are your child’s role model. Doc Joey says, “One of the best ways for kids to learn new things and form good habits is by modeling these habits yourself.” Let them see you washing your hands for at least two rounds of singing Happy Birthday, and they’ll easily follow!

“An excellent practice is to remind them to sanitize their hands after handling things, especially high-touch surfaces and objects, and before touching their face. Remind them not to go near strangers and to avoid touching things unnecessarily.” Doc Joey

 


Apart from hand washing, there’s also proper cough hygiene. Even if they’re wearing a mask it would be beneficial for kids to learn about what to do if they need to cough or sneeze in the presence of other people.

“When they have to cough or sneeze, show them to cough or sneeze into their elbow or, better, into a tissue, then to dispose of the tissue and wash their hands right after.” Doc Joey

 


Doc Joey recommends going to places where it’s easier to observe health protocols. If you can opt for outdoor spaces and activities, then that would be a great idea! If you’ll be in an indoor location, try to make sure the area has ample room and good air circulation.

“If you have options to enjoy activities where it's much easier to follow protocols, like outdoor spaces and activities, or a private venue or room in a restaurant with good ventilation, then that could definitely help minimize your family's risk of exposure.” Doc Joey

 


As much as possible, try to limit going to the mall and eating at restaurants on days when there are higher volumes of people — weekends, holidays, etc. If it’s possible, see if you can schedule your mall trip in advance, take time off from work, and have a relaxing day out with the kids when it’s less crowded.

“I always like to emphasize that so long as there's still a pandemic, it remains important to make wise choices and continue to minimize our risk of becoming exposed to the virus. Plan your family outings on days and places where crowds are minimal.” Doc Joey

 


Vaccination is the best shield and armor against the virus. Doc Joey reminds us that kids below five years old, and other people who can’t get vaccinated, rely on the rest of us to help protect them. But vaccinated or not, it’s vital to practice mask wearing, physical distancing, and proper hygiene as long as the pandemic is still around.

“Vaccinations greatly decrease our chances of getting an infection and may also decrease the risk of transmitting it, but the risk of contracting the virus is still present. It's especially important to remember that not everyone in our population has been vaccinated and can be vaccinated.” Doc Joey

In addition to these tips, Doc Joey also tells us that mask wearing (in public places), proper hand washing, staying home when ill are all great practices we can continue observing even after the pandemic is over. This will help us avoid other highly transmissible infections!

We hope these tips will help you have a safe and fun outing with the kids, Mom and Dad!

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