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PHCC reminds parents to keep children safe, follow COVID-19 precautions

Doha: As children head back to school and being allowed to enter public places, parents have been urged and reminded to keep them safe and follow all COVID-19 precautions. 

Although children are less likely to develop severe symptoms of COVID-19, they can still get the virus and pass it onto other people, said Dr. Khalid Hamid Elawad, Health Protection Manager at Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC). 

“Qatar’s phased lifting of restrictions has enabled people to gradually enjoy more normal activities while also preventing new spikes and rises in cases. If children follow all preventive measures recommended by MoPH the risk of infection from COVID-19 is minimal,” he added. 

 

Dr. Elawad advised parents to monitor children for any signs of COVID-19, keep children healthy, remind them about preventive measures daily and help them cope stress. He also emphasised that children should not miss out routine immunisation.

“Maintain distance between your children and other people while outside the home. Keep children at least six feet from other people,” he said. 

“Children 2 years old and older should wear a mask over their nose and mouth when in public settings where it’s difficult to practise social distancing. This is a public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to the other everyday preventive actions,” he added. 

He also advised people to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (like tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks). 

“Launder items, including washable plush toys as needed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry of an ill person should be washed separately,” he said. 

Dr. Elawad emphasised taking extra precautions if an elderly relative or someone with chronic illness is living in the same house.  

“If you have family members in your home who have an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, consider extra precautions to separate your child from those people and maintain physical distancing. Consider postponing visits or trips to see older family members and grandparents because they are at higher risk to have complication if they contract COVID-19 infection,” he said.

Dr. Elawad recommended parents to help provide a sense of normalcy in a child’s life and encourage them to adopt the changes during COVID-19.

“Alongside, efforts should be made to encourage a sense of positivity. Help children see this as an opportunity to pick up a new skill or engage in a new hobby and be able to face the challenges in the current situation and learn how they can protect themselves and the others,” he said.

“Ensure that children understand what is required of them in terms of preventive measures while at school,” he added.

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