The Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics represents over 1,100 pediatricians, pediatric residents and medical students across the state. As medical professionals across all specialties treat children and families, we emphasize the following messages to decrease the spread of COVID-19 across Missouri:
#1 Practice Social Distancing
- It’s okay to go outside. In fact, we recommend every member of the family get fresh air every day. Just be sure not to gather in a group at the playground. If you are going to make contact with public surfaces, consider wiping these down and be sure to wash everyone’s hands as soon as possible.
#2 Call your healthcare provider before going to their office or the hospital.
- If you or your child are experiencing symptoms like cough, fever, sore throat – call your child’s physician’s office before going in. The clinic can advise you over the phone on next steps and, if necessary, provide additional care.
#3 Children can carry this virus.
- Social distancing is especially important, even with immediate family members like grandparents. Children can be carriers of this virus. It is difficult, but the more social distance we can have, the healthier our families will be in the long run.
#4 Remain Calm and Follow Credible Sources for Information
- Children are affected by stress in the family affecting their ability to focus on school work, maintain emotional health and remain healthy. Being prepared for this epidemic involves remaining calm and following the advice of credible sources of information for best practices. The AAP Healthychildren.org website provides great information.
#5 Check on Neighbors, Friends and Family Members, from a Distance
- Using social media, telephone, email, and virtual platforms to maintain relationships with friends and family members is a healthy way to make life as normal as possible for children and families during this time. It is understandable that social media usage may increase during this time, but it is still important to have a plan. Visit Healthychildren.org for more tips on social media during this time.
#6 Have fun with your family!
- It is important to ensure the health and well-being of all family members during this time. Use this time to dust off old board games, have a dance party, look at the night sky or any activity your family enjoys together!