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Protecting yourself and those you care for during COVID-19 outbreak

How you can protect yourself and those you care for

We understand this is a stressful time for everyone, for yourself, your patients and their families. To help protect yourself and those around you, Nutricia is sharing some simple rules from the World Health Organization (WHO).

1. Wash hands regularly

The coronavirus is spread by human contact. Therefore, quite simply washing your hands with soap and water or a hand rub for 20 seconds or more is the best way to protect against it. So advise parents to wash their hands thoroughly before touching their child and advise they insist the same to anyone touching their child.

For older children, advise parents to make handwashing a regular part of play or mealtimes and thoroughly wash their hands together using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

Why? This will kill any viruses that may be on hands and instantly stop them from spreading the virus.

WHO’s handwashing guidelines

2. Limit get-togethers

Advise parents to minimize interactions between their infant and other people to help stop the spread of the virus.

Reiterate the advice of avoiding close contact, and maintaining a safe distance of at least 2 meters (6 feet) between themselves and other people outside of their household at all times

Why? Because when someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If nearby, you can breathe in the droplets, including the coronavirus.

3. Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth

We tend to touch different surfaces throughout the day which may have the coronavirus. Once on our hands, the easiest way for it to enter our body is through our eyes, mouth or nose. We can’t avoid touching surfaces, but we can avoid touching our face and limit the potential passage of the virus into our body. Avoid touching your face and advise parents to do the same. Advise that even though you can’t stop infants touching different surfaces or their face, the passage of the virus can be limited into the body by parents not touching their own or their baby’s face. Also, to make sure they’ve thoroughly washed their hands before touching their baby.

Why? Surfaces can be contaminated with the coronavirus and once the virus has arrived on the hands it can easily be transferred into the body via the mouth, nose or eyes when we touch our face.

4. Practice good respiratory hygiene

Make sure parents, and carers, are fully aware of how to follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering the mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Then disposing of used tissues immediately.

Why? Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect yourself and the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and coronavirus.

5. Feeling unwell? Seek medical care early

Reiterate the advice to parents to stay at home if they or their child feels sick. If they have the early signs of a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, then to seek medical attention immediately. For more information, follow local health authority directions.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up-to-date information on the situation. Calling in advance will allow the healthcare provider to quickly direct anyone to the right health facility. This will also protect against further spreading of the virus and other infections.

6. Follow a safe and hygienic preparation of food

Advise parents to keep safe when preparing foods by:

  • Using separate chopping boards for raw and cooked food
  • Washing their hands between handling raw and cooked food
  • Ensuring all the food is cooked thoroughly and handled properly during preparation.

Why? As parents will be cooking for themselves, their family and their baby and the coronavirus can be spread by ingestion. Therefore, it’s even more important for the person who’s preparing food to follow safety procedures while cooking.

7. Stay informed and follow advice

Advise parents to keep aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak on the government website for local advice and for global guidance, on the World Health Organization (WHO) website.

Advise parents to read from trustworthy, reliable sources to reduce worry and anxiety and get the most reliable information to help in reducing chances of transmitting or acquiring the virus.

  • https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/coronavirus-covid-19-pregnancy-and-womens-health/
  • https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/key-topics/covid-19https://www.bda.uk.com/practice-and-education/covid-19-coronavirus-clinical-guidance.html
  • https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
  • https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-on-covid-19-pregnancy-childbirth-and-breastfeeding
  • https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
  • https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/
  • https://www.hcpc-uk.org/covid-19/keeping-up-to-date
  • https://www.thelancet.com/coronavirus?dgcid=kr_pop-up_tlcoronavirus20