COVID-19: How parents can manage their kids amid new strain

Photo credit: Science News

With the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and its new strain, which is more virulent, there is no better time to pay rapt attention to our safety, most especially our kids.

“Too many of our children have had their education disrupted to the extent that many have not been to school since March 2020. This remains the case especially for children in rural areas, low-cost and public schools also due to the fact that they have not had the opportunity to learn online,” says parenting coach and Director at LePoshe School, Ikoyi, Ms RonkePosh Adeniyi.

This unsettling situation continues to widen the educational gap of many Nigerian children and the rest of the world; many of whom have continued learning online. Although there is still no concrete directive from the Ministry of Education as at the time of writing this publication about the resumption of schools in Lagos State and even many around the country, parents have a duty of care to safeguard their children when they are at home.

Adeniyi noted that whilst many children have been reported to be largely asymptomatic, it is still advisable for parents to keep their children at home as much as possible because, they may not show any symptoms yet are able to infect the adults around them. This is particularly true from credible online publications that the teenage children can readily transmit the virus so it is not advisable for parents to keep pushing for physical resumption.

“Parents should ensure they model and follow the safety protocols to their children and ensure they follow them; some of which include the wearing of new disposable or clean fabric masks, maintaining a safe physical distance from others, sanitising in the absence of clean water and soap.

“As much as possible, parents should help boost the immunity of children by providing highly nutritious meals as opposed to fast or junk food, ensuring the children are given vitamin supplements also. Parents need to have the right and age-appropriate conversations about the COVID-19 pandemic around the world so they can get their buy-in and strive to keep safe at all times. This will also help them mentally and emotionally as many of the children miss the physical and social interactions that come with onsite school attendance.”

The mum and educationist noted that as a substitute, parents should allow their kids to call or video-conference with friends. A lot of parents find online and homeschooling of children challenging and many schools also find it easier to manage schools when all the children are onsite.

“I, however, urge parents and educators to remember that the safety of our children is paramount. Parents and educators should collaborate and endeavour to deliver their lessons online as much as possible particularly those in secondary schools who can easily transmit the COVID-19. Prayer is not a unique strategy at this time because it requires action on the part of parents to adhere to safety protocols.”

In conclusion, Adeniyi said that this is not a time to use technology to babysit our children, now more than ever; our children need our support and presence.

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