How to self isolate when you have a child at home

Published Apr 7, 2020


DURBAN - The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that anyone who believes they may be infected with Covid-19 to self-isolate for 14 days until the symptoms clear up, but that might be difficult for parents of small children.

Parenting experts say explaining to a child that they can't go outside and see their friends is always going to be tough but for those living in studio apartments self isolating from your children might be extremely difficult.

If you have to share common spaces, everything should be sterilised and surfaces should be cleaned frequently. Ideally, if a parent has COVID-19, they should go into self-isolation within the home. This includes the use of a separate bathroom if available.

If you don't have the facilities for this, you should always try to use the toilet last. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests setting up a bathroom timetable for washing and bathing.

If sharing a bathroom, the isolated person should clean it themselves after every use.

Towels should not be shared, and they should also have their own separate dishes, glasses and cutlery.

“Try to minimise the time you spend in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas as much as possible and keep shared spaces well ventilated. Try to keep the window open as much as possible to enable ventilation and air flow as this will help to keep clean air moving through your room,” says parenting expert Rachel Fitz-Desorgher.

“Keep following this advice to the best of your ability and don't worry that all these measures might not be possible,” she added.

Official guidance says that so far, children with Covid-19 appear to be less severely affected.

If your child develops symptoms, they need to stay at home for seven days from the onset of their symptoms.

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