More Than 23,000 Kids Have Gotten COVID in Fla. Here’s How to Keep Yours Safe.


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By Araceli Cruz

July 15, 2020

Although the coronavirus pandemic is surging in Florida, the CDC offers new guidelines to protect kids.

FLORIDA — As we previously reported, the Florida Department of Health (FDH) stated that more than 7,000 children under 18 tested positive for the coronavirus in Florida since the pandemic began in March. That number went up to 23,000 according to the latest data reported by the FDH.

With more children heading outdoors, going to camp, and perhaps going back into the classroom, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new guidelines on how to protect children.

Related: Here Are the Newest COVID-19 Symptoms, According to the CDC

Teach Your Children Preventive Actions

  • Parents and caretakers play an important role in teaching children to wash their hands. Explain that handwashing can keep them healthy and stop the virus from spreading to others.
  • Be a good role model—if you wash your hands often, they’re more likely to do the same.
  • Make handwashing a family activity.
  • Learn more about what you can do to protect children.

How the CDC ranks the risk level of activities

It’s essential first to find out how many people will be congregating in a particular area. The CDC advises that the more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and spreading the virus. This is what you can do to stay safe:

  • Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events and gatherings.
  • More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear cloth face coverings, do not share objects and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city or county).
  • Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.
  • Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.

Guidelines to Protect Children From COVID-19

  • Clean hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid people who are sick (coughing and sneezing).
  • Put distance between your children and other people outside of your home. Keep children at least 6 feet from other people.
  • Children 2 years and older should wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when in public settings where it’s difficult to practice social distancing. This is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19, in addition to (not instead of) the other everyday preventive actions listed above.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in shared household areas.
  • Launder items, including washable plush toys as needed.

The CDC also reports that adults should limit the time children spend with other kids. Also, while some people will use the excuse that wearing a mask is not safe, those myths have been widely debunked. Some will even say it is too hot to be wearing a mask. However, experts say a mask does not limit the intake of oxygen.

Related: UPDATED: This Map Shows Where and Who Coronavirus Has Hit the Hardest This Week in Florida

When it’s humid outside, it could feel like it’s harder to breathe if you’re not used to wearing a mask, said Benjamin Neuman, a professor of biology at Texas A&M University-Texarkana. But he noted masks don’t meaningfully decrease oxygen in the body.

“The body is quite good at adjusting to keep oxygen levels where they need to be,” Neuman said.

According to Davidson Hamer, an infectious disease expert at Boston University, there’s also no evidence that the use of masks causes fungal or bacterial infections. Disposable face masks are meant to be used once, then thrown in the garbage. With cloth masks, it’s a good idea to wash them regularly.

Wearing a mask may be uncomfortable, but health officials say you should resist any urge to touch your face. That could bring germs from your hands into your nose, mouth or eyes. Click here for more information on how to speak to your children about COVID-19.

The Associated Press contributed to this story. This story has been updated to reflect the latest data available by the Florida Health Department.



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