If you have a toddler or a baby then you might be concerned about how to protect your child from the coronavirus.
Thankfully, the evidence so far on the virus suggests that toddler and babies very rarely become ill from the coronavirus. Toddlers that have been infected report little or no symptoms.
Your baby and toddler could quite easily pass the virus onto someone who is much more at risk of suffering serious illness from the virus.
There are lots of things you can do to help keep your toddler and baby safe from the corona virus.
Hygiene is key
The most important number one rule is for you to make sure you are practicing safe hygiene yourself.
You need to be frequently washing your hands, observe social distancing rules and do not come into close contact with other people.
You also need to make sure you do not cough or sneeze without using a tissue to capture any particles.
The coronavirus is spread virally, therefore it can infect your toddler and baby through their eyes, nose and mouth.
Unfortunately, toddlers and babies just love to put their hands in their mouths. Make sure you are very frequently washing them and cleaning surfaces and objects they touch with sanitiser to prevent infection.
Sending your child back to nursery or school
Nurseries and Schools are a hive of infection for toddlers and children because of the close proximity of the children.
Your toddler will develop a strong immune system when working their way through nursery and school. This does not mean that in these worrying times there aren’t additional rules to follow. There are now rules on distancing and the use of shared toys and equipment.
Make sure you are up to speed on all the new rules for your toddler or baby. This is especially important prior to placing them back in nursery and school environments.
When you pick up your child or baby from day-care/school make sure you wash their hands and face immediately. If possible, put them in a change of clothes. Don’t forget to wash your own hands before giving them that huge cuddle!
Make sure your child’s vaccinations are up to date
Remember, vaccination is the safest way to protect children from illness.
Make sure your child is up to date with their vaccines whilst this health pandemic being managed. You want to minimise the chances that they’ll need medical attention while the NHS is dealing with the coronavirus.
What if you are breastfeeding?
The good news is that Breast milk contains ingredients that help your child prevent and fight infections.
Remember, it is universally recommended that babies are fed only breast milk right up until they become six months old. After six months that can continue receiving milk from the breast alongside other solid foods into their second year.
There is no reason to change your breastfeeding habits whilst the planet confronts the Coronavirus.
Check your formula habits
You should already be practising germ-free environments when using feeding equipment and bottles.
With the strain on the NHS concerning the Coronavirus, medical care may be hard to access. You should be taking even more care to prevent germs when using your feeding equipment.
Be more diligent about preparing bottles for your child.
This means you must always wash your hands thoroughly with soap for five minutes before handling equipment.
Thoroughly wash bottles and remember to sterilise them after every feed. Don’t forget to make the formula with hot water to the temperatures stipulated in the instructions from the infant formula manufacturer. These instructions can be found on the back of the formula can.
Remember to allow the formula to cool down before checking it’s not too hot to serve to your baby!
Shopping and baby essentials
Early in the virus outbreak there were disruptions to supply chains within supermarkets, especially as families panic bought key brands.
Infant formula was especially impacted by the coronavirus, with many brands making public announcements on their commitment to supplying formula on the shelves available for parents in supermarkets.
As with all infant nutrition products, make sure you two weeks’ worth of supplies ready at home to prepare for a second outbreak.
If you are formula feeding, store enough infant formula for three weeks but be cautious about expiry dates.
What if I contract the coronavirus?
Mums are much more at risk of becoming ill from the coronavirus than their babies.
If you’re breastfeeding and you become infected consult your GP immediately.
If you become infected it is extremely important that you wear a face mask when you are with your baby during feeding.
Wash your hands before and after coming into contact with your little one, and keep clean all surfaces using disinfectant.
Keeping grandparents safe from the Corona virus
If you or your partner contract the coronavirus, someone else within your family may need to provide support and care for your baby or your other children.
If you have elderly parents that historically helped with child care you need to make sure you don’t put them at risk, especially if they are over 70 years of age and fall into the high risk category.