Parents and guardians who use elderly caregivers need to make alternative arrangements when children are showing flu-like symptoms.
“The Authority is aware that the usual caregivers whom parents rely on when school is closed, may be those who are elderly or at greater risk of experiencing severe illness, due to COVID-19,” a release from the Children’s Authority last Tuesday stated. Other high-risk persons should also not be exposed to sick children.
It stated parents and guardians should teach and encourage children to wash and sanitise their hands regularly; advise them they were not on vacation and need to avoid crowded areas. Schools have been ordered closed until April 20 as a precaution against the virus.
The Authority issued recommendations for the protection of children during this time: leave children in the care of trusted and responsible adults; older children should not be given the responsibility of supervising younger ones; believe children when they express a concern about someone; teach children what are appropriate and inappropriate touches and that they should never keep inappropriate touching a secret; educate children about online safety; monitor your child’s online activity by using parental control apps; be aware of physical and non-physical signs of abuse in your children (e.g. marks or redness on body; discharges when bathing or changing young children; pain or discomfort in any body part, especially genitals; fear or avoidance of a certain adult or place; inappropriate sexual behaviour); parents and guardians are reminded to be vigilant; to not let their guard down; and to trust their instincts.
The release reminded that “Child Protection Is Everybody’s Business” and the national community had a responsibility to safeguard children. Incidents of child abuse should be reported to the Authority’s Hotline at 996 or to the Police at 999.