April 16, 2020

Keeping your children safe and well during lockdown

Coronavirus isn’t the only danger we’re facing at the moment. Almost every country in the world has closed its schools, parents are left having to do two roles: being a home teacher and also being a playmate. In these uncertain times, it’s easy to get distracted and not have your eye on every danger. Prepare your home properly to keep the whole family entertained and most importantly, safe during this lockdown.

Working from home and looking after your children

Like the majority of parents in Luxembourg right now, if you’re not checking your phone for the latest coronavirus updates, you’re probably overwhelmed by another pressing issue – how can I survive another day of confinement with my kids?

None of us were prepared to switch between video conferencing and with raising a family in quarantine at the same time. We’re also not prepared to support our children when they can no longer see their friends and nobody quite knows when things will return to normal.

Our top tips:

  • Establish clear schedules. Adding some structure to their days gives children the feeling that the situation is under control. Despite the chaos going on in the world, they should still be able to count on a few certainties in life, like getting up at 8.00, having breakfast at 8.30, etc.
  • Get some exercise. All that energy normally used up in school has to be released somewhere, otherwise their excitement will quickly turn to anxiety. Regulate their use of television, tablets and games consoles. Establish a routine of morning exercise, walks, yoga sessions, etc. Dance to your favourite playlists, or play some games that will be good for them both physically and mentally.
  • Take regular breaks. Divide your time between family activities and those done apart.
  • Learn something new together. This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend more time with your children and less time at work. However, it doesn’t have to be a burden if you can discover some common passions, perhaps making homemade pasta, trying out some chemistry experiments, building a fort, solving puzzles, learning a new language, etc.

WARNING: don’t succumb to “homemade”.

Since the beginning of containment, hydroalcoholic gels and other disinfectants have become rare and coveted. Many tutorials have appeared on the web to offer everyone the opportunity to make their own products.

However, this is an extreme danger. The number of calls to the poison control centre in Belgium and Luxembourg has increased by 20%. They say they are overwhelmed by cases of children having ingested the prepared solution or one of its ingredients.

The intoxications observed are very serious and the centre is now issuing a real warning message for everyone to stop this type of home-made preparation and warns: “Washing your hands thoroughly with water and liquid soap is as effective as disinfecting with hydroalcoholic gel and even preferable“.

Parents, observe these two basic principles:

  • Potentially dangerous products (cleaning products, detergents, medicines) should be stored in a place inaccessible to children.
  • Keep each of these products in their original packaging. Transferring or mixing them is a source of error.
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