Caring for children with special needs is very hands-on, which makes practicing social distancing difficult for caregivers and parents. With many schools being closed, here’s how you can reduce your child’s risk of contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19).

COVID-19 spreads very quickly through:

  • The air, after coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as when shaking hands or touching others
  • Touching an object or surface on which the virus is found

Common signs of infection include:

  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties

What to do at home:

  • Keep your child away from people and pets as much as possible
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw the tissue away and then wash their hands straight away
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Do not allow visitors into your home, whether it is other children or adults
  • If possible, your child should stay in a bedroom and use a bathroom separate from other people in your home
  • Use separate dishes, glasses, cups, and eating utensils and do not share these with other household members
  • Wash clothing, bedding, towels and cutlery with detergent on the hottest temperature possible
  • Every day, use a household cleaner or wipe to clean objects like doorknobs, light switches, toys, remote controls, sink handles, counters, and phones
  • Make sure shared spaces in the home have good air flow. Open a window or turn on an air filter or air conditioner

Regularly check http://www.nicd.ac.za/ and https://www.who.int/ for up-to-date, reliable information about the coronavirus.