Setting up a schedule for your child amid coronavirus outbreak

DETROIT – For many mothers the coronavirus outbreak is a new frontier.

With schools closed parents are faced with the challenge of setting up a daily schedule for their children.

Local 4′s Sandra Ali spoke to an expert about what works and what doesn’t.

Most parents are new to the idea of homeschooling.

Andrea P is a mother of three boys. She’s also a former teacher. She spent eight years working with kids in a classroom when she taught kindergarten and first grade.

She knows what works and what doesn’t when it comes to mapping out your child’s schedule now that they’re home from school.

She made a schedule for her boys and said it’s nothing fancy, but it works for her family. She said to check and see what your school district sent out and you may have received a guideline to work from.

You can also check if your child’s teacher or school has learning packets or classes via Google classroom or Zoom. Then you can start building your personal schedule around those classes.

Andrea said you can use your child’s regular school schedule as a guide, since it’s what they’re already used to. Many parents find sticking to a 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. school day works well.

Try to keep lunch, recess and snack times the same if you can too. A lot of this depends on their age. She said younger children can usually only focus on a task or project for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Just because you’re quarantined doesn’t mean you can’t take your work outside. Build in lots of movement breaks for fresh air or even take your lesson outside.

You can let the kids dig or observe nature. They can even track what they’re seeing in a science journal.

Experts also point out this is the time to be kind to yourself, nobody expects you to make and stick to a perfect schedule right now. Keep in mind, different routines work for different families.

MORE: Here’s which Michigan counties have confirmed cases of coronavirus

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

MORE: Beaumont Health launches coronavirus hotline for patients with symptoms

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.

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