With many families stuck together at home due to the coronavirus, it’s given many the opportunity to bond with each other, specifically fathers and their kids.
As parents face the possibility of a summer devoid of camps, pool parties, barbecues and vacations, many are wondering what they can do to keep their families sane. My kids are increasingly missing their friends and sense of normalcy; it feels like something has to give or we’ll all lose our minds.
As some summer camps open around the country, families are weighing whether the benefits of outdoor fun are worth the risks of infection. To learn more about how to make this decision, Caribu spoke with Dr. Geeta Nayyar, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Florida International University.
The CDC advises that children over the age of two wear a mask when they cannot maintain adequate distance from another person. It’s okay for your kid to go mask-free when they’re outside (say, on a remote hike where they’re not touching picnic tables or water fountains), but not in a crowd. So it’s probably best for them to stay covered up if there’s a chance that they may get close to others.
There are plenty of benefits to being closer. Research suggests that kids whose grandparents play a significant role in their lives may become more resilient and less prone to depression as adults. Grandparents, in turn, have the chance to be there for milestone moments and to support adult children with babysitting and child care.
All parents know that daycares are the most germ-ridden places on Earth, and every daycare parent knows about “Daycare Syndrome,” the catchphrase for frequent upper respiratory infections common in group childcare. Yet centers servicing essential workers’ children have largely remained open without contributing to the spread of COVID-19, which gives us insight into how schools, camps and nonessential childcare spots can re-open and remain safe.
This year, with outings to the community pool, day camps and pool parties still on hold, kids cooped up at home will be eager to get in the water as the weather warms. Experts worry that parents are stretched too thin to provide the required supervision, leading to an increase in child drownings this summer. As of mid-May, both Florida and Texas — the top two states for child drownings in pools and spas — are already seeing higher numbers than last year.
How can we help young children understand more about social distancing and wearing masks? This might seem like an impossible dilemma for parents of active and social kids. Part of child development is learning how to play, share, talk, and tumble together, and it’s hard to push kids to modify these sweet moments of interaction in response to COVID-19. As cities emerge from their shelter-in-place orders, the complexities of playdates and summer camps might be confusing for everyone to navigate.
Of all the hardships imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, few are as poignant as the reshaping of relationships between children and the grandparents who love them. Across America, where more than 70 million people are grandparents, efforts to prevent infection in older people, who are most at risk of serious COVID-19 illness, have meant self-imposed exile for many. At the opposite extreme, some grandparents have taken over daily child care duties to help adult children with no choice but to work.
As some countries ease coronavirus restrictions, mental health experts are noticing an emerging phenomenon; anxiety about life after lockdown. Meanwhile people who remain living under the most stringent measures are fearful about what will happen when these rules are lifted.