26 March 2020

Everything you need to know about washing your hands to protect against coronavirus (COVID-19)

Respiratory viruses like coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread when mucus or droplets containing the virus get into your body through your eyes, nose or throat. Most often, this happens through your hands. Hands are also one of the most common ways that the virus spreads from one person to the next. During a global pandemic, one of the cheapest,…, 1. How do I wash my hands properly?, To eliminate all traces of the virus on your hands, a quick scrub and a rinse isn't enough. Below is a step-by-step process for effective handwashing. Step 1: Wet hands with water Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including back of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds…, 2. How long should I wash my hands for?, You should wash your hands for at least 20-30 seconds. An easy way to time it is by singing the full happy birthday song, twice. The same goes for hand sanitizer: use a sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and rub it into your hands for at least 20 seconds to ensure full coverage., 3. When should I wash my hands?, To prevent COVID-19, you should make sure to wash your hands at the following times: After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing After visiting a public space, including public transportation, markets and places of worship After touching surfaces outside of the home, including money Before, during and after caring for a sick person Before and…, 4. How can I help my child wash his or her hands?, You can help children wash their hands by making handwashing easier for them. You can make it fun for them by singing their favorite songs while you help them rub their hands.  , 5. Do I need to use warm water to wash my hands?, No, you can use any temperature of water to wash your hands. Cold water and warm water are equally effective at killing germs and viruses – as long as you use soap!, 6. Do I need to dry my hands?, Germs spread more easily from wet skin than from dry skin, so drying your hands completely is an important step. Paper towels or clean cloths are the most effective way to remove germs without spreading them to other surfaces., 7. Which is better: washing your hands or using hand sanitizer?, In general, both handwashing with soap and water and hand sanitizer, when practiced/used correctly, are highly effective at killing most germs and pathogens. Hand sanitizer is often more convenient when you are outside of the home, but can be expensive or difficult to find in emergency contexts. Also, alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills the…, 8. What if I don’t have soap?, Using chlorinated water or hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol are the best second options if you do not have soap and running water. In cases where these are not available, using soapy water or ash may help remove bacteria, though not as effectively. If these methods are used, it is important to wash your hands as soon as…, 9. How else can I help stop the spread of the coronavirus?, Use proper sneezing and coughing etiquette: Cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing, dispose of used tissue immediately, and wash your hands Avoid touching your face (mouth, nose, eyes) Practice social distancing: Avoiding shaking hands, hugging or kissing people, sharing food, utensils, cups and towels…
26 March 2020

How adolescents & young people can protect their mental health during COVID-19

( Adapted from article on www.unicef.org ) Being an adolescent or young person is difficult no matter what, and the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is making it even harder. With schools closed and many events cancelled, adolescents and young people may feel that they are missing out on some of the biggest moments of their young lives — as well as…, Here are 7 strategies to adapt in facing a new (temporary) normal.,  , 1. Recognize that your anxiety is completely normal, If schools closing and watching the news are making you feel anxious, you are not the only one. In fact, that’s how you’re supposed to feel. For a long time, psychologists have recognized that anxiety is a normal and healthy part of our lives. It is what makes us alert to threats and helps us find ways to protect ourselves. What is important is…, 2. Create distractions, Psychologists recommend that when faced with a difficult condition or situation it’s very helpful to divide the problem into two categories; (1)things I can do something about, (2) things I can do nothing about. By doing this you can separate things that you have control over and things you don’t. You can then create distractions for yourself,…, 3. Find new ways to connect with your friends, If you want to spend time with friends while practicing social distancing, social media is a great way to connect. Get creative: Take part in social media challenges like  #safehands  on Tik-Tok, and find innovative ways to connect with others online. People around the world are even dancing together, or playing games online! Be sure to limit your…, 4. Focus on yourself, Have you been wanting to learn how to do something new, start a new book or spend time practicing a musical instrument? Maybe you want to learn a new language or learn a new skill? Now is the time to do that. Focusing on yourself and finding ways to use your new-found time is a productive way to look after your mental health. Make use of the…, 5. Feel your feelings, Missing out on events with friends, hobbies, or sports matches is incredibly disappointing. The best way to deal with this disappointment? Let yourself feel it. When it comes to having a painful feeling, the only way out is through. Go ahead and be sad, and if you can let yourself be sad, you’ll start to feel better faster. Make art, talk to your…, 6. Be kind to yourself and others, For adolescents or young people facing bullying and abuse in school, as well as in the community due to coronavirus, please know that you are not expected to confront bullies but rather encouraged to turn to your friends or adults for help and support. If you witness a friend being bullied, reach out to them and try to offer support. Doing nothing…, 7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, As adolescents and young people, you may be hesitant to reach out to others and ask for help. You are not alone. Part of dealing with difficult times is finding people who you can trust to be there and support you along the way. It could be your family, a good friend, a teacher, or a neighbour. Whoever it is, it is important to be able to trust…
25 March 2020

Parenting tips during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

( Adapted from article on   www.unicef.org ) The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has changed family life around the world. School closures, working remote, social distancing — it's a lot to navigate for anyone, but especially for parents. Here are a few tips for parents and caregivers to manage this new (temporary) normal.    , 1. One-on-one time, School shutdown is a chance to spend more time with children and adolescents. While it can be demanding, it can also be fun and is important to make children feel loved and secure. In turn, it will also help parents to focus their energy on something more positive. Set aside time to spend with each child It can be for just 20 minutes, or longer –…, 2. Keeping it positive, It‘s hard to feel positive when your kids are driving you crazy. We often end up saying “Stop doing that!”. But children are much more likely to do what we ask if we give them positive instructions and lots of praise for what they do right.  Say the behaviour you want to see  Use positive words when telling your child what to do; like "Please put…, 3. Get structured , COVID-19 has changed routines and habits from our daily work, home and school. This is hard for children, adolescents and for you. Making new routines can help. Create a flexible but consistent daily routine Make a schedule together with your children so there is time for structured activities as well as free time. This can help children feel more…, 4. Bad behaviour, All children misbehave. It is normal when children are tired, hungry, afraid, or learning independence.  Redirect Catch bad behaviour early and redirect your kids’ attention from a bad to a good behaviour. Stop it before it starts! When they start to get restless, you can distract with something interesting or fun: “Come, let’s play a game instead…, 5. Keep calm and manage stress, This is a stressful time. Take care of yourself, so you can support your children.  You are not alone Millions of parents have the same fears as us. Find someone who you can talk to about how you are feeling. Listen to them. Avoid social media that makes you feel panicked. Take a break We all need a break sometimes. When your children are asleep,…, 6. Talking about COVID-19, As a parent it is your responsibility to make sure your children get correct and approved information on how to prevent COVID-19. Parents should be proactive in following updates from the Government such as the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC), WHO and UNICEF websites. Be willing to talk They will…