This is tip 11 in a series from pediatrician Dr. Ray Fabius for families on maintaining health and wellness at home or on the front lines. Find more tips and actionable advice on our Dr. Ray resource page.
A tip for establishing lifelong wellness practices
Thankfully, the COVID-19 virus appears to be much less dangerous than the seasonal flu for children. A big reason our communities are shutting down during this pandemic is to protect people over the age of 65 and those with chronic conditions—especially lung conditions.
Even though children are far more likely to be safe from serious effects of this virus, families can still leverage the healthy habits learned during this time to prepare for unpredictable events, or even predictable ones like flu. First, have an open and honest conversation with children about viruses, medicines, and cures
Emphasize because of what you’ve learned during this pandemic, the family is better prepared for the rest of their lives if anything like this were to happen again. Good hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, remaining physically distant from those who are sick, and staying home when we are sick are all good habits. We should practice them every single day even after this is over, so everyone can stay healthier.
Families might be trying healthier lifestyle changes
like eating healthier, cooking together, quitting smoking, or exercising more. Being home more often than we’re used to is an opportunity to try these new lifestyle choices together and check in regularly on progress, so the whole family keeps each other accountable. Together, everyone can come out healthier mentally and physically on the other side.
This pandemic should also provide us all with a greater appreciation for health care providers, scientists, researchers, and members of the pharmaceutical industry. These are the people who administer care, find new medications, and develop vaccines to make our world a safer place for all of us.
Educational activities to help children understand
Note: These activities might be best enjoyed by school-age children.
- Make a list of all the healthy habits your family has learned from this experience that you should practice every day, even after this is over.
- Draw or craft colorful signs to hang around the house as reminders to everyone to keep up their healthy habits.
- Color and learn about the coronavirus with this educational coloring book from St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Resources to learn more about this topic