It’s all over the news: Another deadly illness is spreading all over the world, and of course, you’re worried about the children under your care. Here is what you need to know.
If you have traveled recently to an area where the outbreak is severe, contact your doctor for advice. You can find a map with up-to-date information about the outbreak here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/locations-confirmed-cases.html
Otherwise, you should mainly take precautions as you would any flu season. Wash your hands frequently, and teach your children to do so also. Teach your children to keep their hands away from their faces, especially if they have been touching surfaces in a public area. Stay home if you feel sick, and tell others that you expect them to do the same. This is especially important with any family or friends who are elderly or have health conditions that make them particularly sensitive to this illness.
Symptoms to look out for include:
- Trouble breathing
- A fever that won’t go down, even after taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil)
- An out-of-control cough
- Extreme sleepiness
- Irritability or pain that you cannot soothe
- Signs of dehydration (for example, going more than six hours without urinating)
Right now, scientists are still learning about Novel Coronavirus (it’s the official name). If your children are having anxiety about this, try to limit their exposure to the news. Let them know that they are safe. If they don’t personally have any of the high-risk chronic conditions, let them know that we just have to take precautions to keep our loved ones safe. If they do have one of the high-risk conditions, follow the advice given by the CDC. Stay informed and take precautions, and you’ll be fine.
By Bethanie Ryan