Hi Chalk Friends - Another great guest blog post by our close pal Leslie Campos of Wellparents.com - enjoy and stay safe!
Never has the need for a family safety plan felt more pressing than it does right now. The coronavirus pandemic is causing countless families to realize just how unprepared they are for a major emergency. But while you might feel helpless in the face of a global pandemic, there’s a lot you can do to protect your family right now and in future crises.
Staying Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Hand washing and household cleaning
- Wash your hands often.Hand washingis the most important thing you can do to prevent coronavirus transmission. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, especially after leaving the house or touching your face, and teach kidsto do the same. If you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizerthat contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Disinfect high-touch surfaces.Doorknobs, lightswitches, toilet handles, and other high-touch surfaces should be disinfected daily with an approved disinfectantlike alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or bleach. Be sure to maintain the required contact time before drying.
How to grocery shop safely
- Use delivery and curbside pick-up.The less time you spend in crowded stores, the safer you’ll be. Be sure to order groceriesin advance as many stores are taking longer than usual to fulfill orders due to heightened demand.
- Shop alone.If you do need to visit the supermarket, don’t take the whole family with you. Plan shopping trips during times when there’s another adult home to supervise children. For single parents, assess if your child is old enough to be left home alone, and take precautionsto keep them safe while you’re away. Kids should know who to call in case of an emergency, understand basic first aid and CPR, and know how to handle strange visitors while home alone.
- Keep your distance.Maintain a social distance of at least six feet while shopping and checking out. While this may slow down your shopping trip, it’s worth staying safe.
Safe socializing during COVID-19
- Are playdates safe?Families want to know if it’s safe to schedule playdates during the coronavirus lockdown. Unfortunately,experts saythe answer is “No.” The safest thing families can do is stay home and avoid contact with anyone they don’t live with. While kids are at less risk of serious illness, they can still spread the virus to others.
- Safer socializing options.Instead, parents should look for ways to keep kids engaged at home. As long as no one in your family is sick, it’s safe to play backyard sports, go on walks, or have a family game night. Parents can also use online platforms like Zoom to stay in touchwith friends and family from a distance.
Essential Safety Planning Steps for Families
Your family’s safety should be a priority all the time, not just during the current crisis. Use these tips to create an emergency plan for your family.
- Make an emergency contact list. In addition to 911, an emergency contact list should include phone numbers for family members in case you’re separated in an emergency. Keep a copy in kids’ backpacks in case of an emergency during the school day.
- Plan your natural-disaster response.Learn which natural disasters are common in your area and how best to stay safeduring them, whether that’s evacuation or sheltering in place.
- Create an emergency kit.In addition to a first aid kit and other emergency kit essentials, make sure you have a bright, long-lastingflashlight to use during power outages.
- Stock up on essentials.At minimum, families should have a three-day supplyof water and non-perishable food on hand for emergencies. But as the current crisis shows, it may be wise to stock up to a two-week supply of food and household goods.
There’s no such thing as being too prepared. Whether it’s a pandemic, a natural disaster, or another emergency, it’s important to know the best ways to keep your family safe. Instead of letting the next crisis catch you by surprise, start thinking about how to ensure your family is ready for anything.
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