Kids and COVID-19: Information Kit
The latest COVID-19 news and resources, as well as tips to protect you and your family.
As the coronavirus has spread, so has misinformation – fueling discrimination and stigma. The Right Start team is working with health experts to promote facts over fear, bringing trustworthy guidance to Namibian parents, caregivers and educators.
24/7 COVID-19 toll free number: 0800100100
- How is COVID-19 spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 1 meter). There is mounting evidence that the virus can spread through aerosols (exiled air) which makes it important to ventilate the rooms where kids spend a lot of time in a crowded space.
- Can children contract Covid-19?
Yes, while children can contract COVID-19, they may have less severe symptoms than adults, but they can still contract and spread the virus. Children should be encouraged to wear masks (if they are over 2 years) and wash their hands regularly, and practice physical distancing outside of the household.
- Can a pregnant mother pass Covid-19 on to her child?
At this time, there is not enough evidence to determine whether the virus is transmitted from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, or the potential impact this may have on the baby. This is currently being investigated.
Pregnant women are encouraged to follow up on their antenatal care schedules and should continue to follow appropriate precautions as prescribed by a health care provider.
- Is it safe for a mother to breastfeed if she is infected with Covid-19?
Breast milk provides protection against many illnesses and is the best source of nutrition for most infants. In limited studies, COVID-19 has not been detected in breast milk. However, we do not know for sure whether mothers with COVID-19 can spread the virus via breast milk. If you tested positive for Covid-19 and choose to breastfeed directly, wear a facemask and wash your hands before each feeding.
If you tested positive for Covid-19 and choose to pump milk in a bottle, wash hands before touching any part of the pump or bottle, or ask a family member to help you bottle feed the baby.
- What should I do if my child has symptoms of Covid-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough or sore throat, can be similar to those of the flu, or the common cold – which are a lot more frequent.
If you are worried that it might actually be Covid-19, do not go to the hospital just yet. Call the Covid-19 call center first at 0800100100 at any time. The staff will provide you with the best advice to follow. Continue to practice regular handwashing, and keep your child up to date with vaccinations – so that your child is protected against other viruses and bacteria causing diseases.
- Should I take my child out of school?
If your child shows symptoms of COVID-19, seek medical care, and follow the instructions from the health care provider. Otherwise, as with other respiratory infections like the flu, keep your child well rested at home for at least 2 weeks, and avoid going to public places, to prevent spread to others.
Parents have the right to keep their children at home if they are not comfortable sending them to school, but learning should continue for children who remain at home. It’s also important to ensure appropriate supervision for children who are out of school, to allow for continued education and also for their protection – from COVID-19, but also other potential threats they may face when left unsupervised. In the resources section of this website, you will find a number of materials to support home-based learning of IECD aged children.
*Source: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): What parents should know: How to protect yourself and your children. Available at: https://www.unicef.org/stories/novel-coronavirus-outbreak-what-parents-should-know
- How should I talk to my children about COVID-19?
Please see in the documents section – https://www.rightstart.com.na/publications
How Can I Protect Myself And My Children From Covid-19?According to the Ministry of Health and Social Services, everyone should:
1. Wash your hands often:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry;
- Avoid touchingyour eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 meters between the person who is sick and other household members;
- Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home. Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread Coronavirus.
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick;
- Face masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance;
- If you are around others and do not have on your mask, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- NOTE: Children under the age of 2 should not wear masks as these are a choking hazard for young children.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily using household soap and water. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets and sinks;
To help parents interact constructively with their children during this time of confinement, these tips for parents cover planning one-on-one time, staying positive, creating a daily routine, avoiding bad behaviour, managing stress, and talking about COVID-19.
- One-on-one time: School shutdown is also a chance to make better relationships with our children and teenagers. One-on-One makes children feel loved and secure and shows them that they are important.
- Keeping positive: It’s hard to feel positive when our kids or teenagers are driving us crazy. We often end up saying “Stop doing that!” But children are much more likely to do what we ask if we give them positive instructions and lots of praise for what they do right.
- Talking about COVID-19: Be willing to talk. They will already have heard something. Silence and secrets do not protect our children. Honesty and openness do. Think about how much they will understand. You know them best.
- Protecting children online:Children and teens are now spending a lot more time online. Being connected helps them reduce the impact of COVID-19 and encourages them to continue with their lives…but it also presents risks and dangers.
- Family budgeting in times of financial stressMillions are stressed about money because of COVID-19. It can make us feel exhausted, angry and distracted. Children or teenagers asking for things can cause arguments. But we can do things to help cope with financial stress.
- Family harmony at homeWhen we model peaceful and loving relationships, our children feel more secure and loved. Positive language, active listening, and empathy help maintain a peaceful and happy family environment under these stressful times.
- Learning through playMillions of children face school closure and isolation in their own home. This tip is about learning through play, something that can be fun for all ages!
Source: Protecting Children During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Available at: https://www.end-violence.org/protecting-children-during-covid-19-outbreak#parenting