Picture this: you and your child were invited to an event this weekend and your child is so excited to attend her first-ever Doc McStuffin-themed birthday party. You’ve bought the gifts, your child’s clothes are ready, you’re just waiting for d-day and then suddenly, an outbreak.
What do you do? You’re probably wondering, can I still take my kids to a birthday during an outbreak?
As Singapore moves its disease outbreak response up a level to Orange on Friday (7 Feb), many parents worry about the health and safety of their kids and family. However, while the government urges the public to avoid crowded places, it did not say you can no longer go out. In fact, the government reassures the public that with the preventative measures in place as well as your own efforts to protect yourself and your family from getting the virus, going out and carrying on with your lives are still okay.
So if you are torn between staying home to avoid contact anyone who potentially carries the virus and taking your child out to a birthday party, we’ve listed the precautionary measures you should adopt in order to stay safe and coronavirus-free:
If you are hosting the party:
- Event organisers are advised to cancel/defer large-scale non-essential events. If you wish to proceed with your event, take all the necessary precautions including:
- temperature screening
- denying entry to those with respiratory symptoms and recent travel history to China.
- Prior to your event, remind those who confirmed to attend not to proceed if they have recent travel history to mainland China or appear to be asymptomatic.
- Those who are on leave of absence should also avoid attending the event.
- Ensure that your event venue is well-ventilated and is adequately equipped with facilities for handwashing and/or provide hand sanitisers where possible.
- Maintain a registration list of participants, if practical.
Image source: iStock
If you are attending the party:
- First, we know you are all happy to see each other at birthday parties but given the current situation, with Singapore’s outbreak status being at DORCON Orange it is important to remember that as general good practice, it is advised to avoid handshakes (more so hugging) and adopt alternative greetings.
- If you, or anyone in your family, are unwell, stay at home. Wear a mask if you must go out and see the doctor immediately. Avoid close and sustained proximity with others.
- Be sure to bring along your face masks as well as hand sanitisers should you need them.
- Do not share food/drinks, eating utensils with others.
After the party, bathe with anti-bacterial body soap and take your and your child’s temperature. Should you or your child start to feel unwell or develop high fever, go to the doctor immediately.
Your role in preventing transmission
The government reminds us that the measures we are taking will only be effective in containing the spread of the virus if individuals also play their part.
“Even with community transmission, the most effective method to prevent transmission remains through good personal hygiene of regular handwashing with soap and water, and the use of hand sanitisers when soap and water are unavailable,” it said.
“We should avoid touching our face unnecessarily, and especially if our hands are not clean,” it added.
Stay safe, mums and dads! Be sure to adopt good personal hygiene and encourage your kids to do the same! Everyone has a part to play in keeping our children safe and healthy.