— ORLANDO, Fla., June 15, 2020 – With the school year finally complete and summer camps approaching, many parents are wondering how to keep their kids safe during the COVID-19 pandemic so children may participate in activities and play with friends.
Dr. Michael Keating, chief medical officer at AdventHealth for Children, acknowledges it is a confusing time but recommends parents continue to demonstrate courteous and mindful behavior as it will go a long way toward keeping children and the community healthy.
“I recommend we all continue to mask,” says Dr. Keating said. “I know wearing a mask is a challenge for some, but it is important in case you are actively carrying the virus, because you may be infecting other people.”
Dr. Keating has the following advice for parents:
Keep up with children’s routine health care appointments and physicals. Pediatricians are seeing a decline in the number of young patients who would typically be seen for routine care and well-child checkups. Fear should not keep you or your family from going to a doctor’s office or hospital. Extra precautions and enhanced safety measures are in place to keep you safe if you need to be seen in office. Telehealth visits are also available.
Continue to follow social distancing, handwashing and masking guidelines for children. It is getting harder to sequester children as the pandemic wears on. Children need to be able to get outdoors and socialize, play and exercise. Use common sense in how you let your children interact with others and continue to take safety precautions. Don’t feel guilty if your family is following guidelines and others are not as cautious.
Be observant of your child’s mental health and notice behavioral changes. Children and their families are coping with extreme levels of stress and anxiety during these difficult times. Some children may not be able to articulate how they are feeling and internalize their fears. Behavioral and mood changes may signal your child is struggling with mental health issues.
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