What parents should know about coronavirus

Washing hands frequently and thoroughly remains most important thing
What parents should know about coronavirus
Updated: Mar. 3, 2020 at 6:24 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With reports of new coronavirus cases and deaths in the U.S., many parents are on edge.

Dr. Duane Dyson and his wife own Dyson Pediatrics in Tucson near Grant and Craycroft roads. He says pretty much everyone who has been through their doors lately has brought up coronavirus.

“Basically, every day everyone comes in wondering if they should even bring their kid in, if they should go anywhere with their child because [coronavirus] is all over the news,” Dyson said.

Dyson says while several of his young patients battle common flu, his office is battling misinformation about coronavirus.

“Misinformation in the sense that they think that it’s coming for them,” Dyson said. “Like it’s here in Tucson and everywhere they go, they are at risk of being exposed.”

Dyson is telling patients not to stop living their lives. Instead, he recommends parents have a conversation with their kids.

“Make sure that your child doesn’t eat or drink after other kids,” he said. “Make sure that -- as always in trying to keep kids healthy -- keep their hands out of their face.”

He says the most important thing is making sure they wash their hands frequently and thoroughly, including after recess and before they eat.

Kolby Jacobson, a Tucson father and soccer coach, says his kids know the drill.

“[I tell them], ‘You know what to do. You know how to wash your hands. You know how to cough properly,’” Jacobson said. “’Susie coughed into her sweater today? OK, well make sure you are careful.’”

While Jacobson has talked to his two children about hygiene, he says he hasn’t mentioned coronavirus because he doesn’t want to worry them.

“And [I don’t want to] put that burden on [my] child for them to have that anxiety,” Jacobson said.

Dyson says this is a great approach.

“Allowing your kid just to be a kid,” Dyson said. “Be vigilant, be smart; especially when it comes to travel … just be aware of where you are going, pay attention to the CDC recommendations and follow the news.”

When it comes to putting your child in a face mask, Dyson says this is not necessary. He says a pediatrician or doctor will let their patients know if there was a reason to wear one. He says because coronavirus is so new, we don’t know how disinfectants work on the virus. So, making sure your kids wash their hands is the most important. However, it doesn’t hurt to carry sanitizer and wipes for peace of mind.

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.