It's Ok Not To Share

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By News Team on August 19, 2020

The information presented below is not medical advice.
The best way to prevent illness is to prevent exposure. COVID-19 spreads through person-to-person contact. Carilion Clinic’s Infectious Diseases experts strongly recommend that everyone:

Stay home whenever possible.
Avoid crowds and enclosed spaces if you must go out.
Wash your hands, keep your distance and wear a mask—every time.

This applies to individuals of every age, with or without underlying medical conditions.

We all want our kids to play nicely together, and part of having that quality is learning how to share.

But what if you’re living through a pandemic and sharing isn’t the healthiest way to interact with others?

While most adults can grasp this change in concept, it may be harder for children to understand.

With school getting ready to pick back up, it’s important to teach our kids how to reduce the spread of the coronavirus by not sharing items that are difficult to clean or disinfect, such as: 

  • School supplies
  • Learning aids
  • Toys
  • Trading cards
  • Clothes
  • Makeup
  • Masks
  • Food and drink (don’t eat or drink after others) 

It is inevitable that students will forget and share, or face peer pressure to do so. Give your child the permission to say “No” to others by having frequent discussions about why it’s important not to spread germs.

Explain how, even if another student may not look or feel sick, they can unknowingly pass the virus along to others—including loved ones—who could become ill. When kids understand the “why,” the concept tends to stick with them better.

The best way to reduce community spread of COVID-19 is to keep our germs to ourselves. Be a role model when it comes to proper hand hygiene and mask-wearing, and remind your kids that in this instance, not sharing is caring.

This article was reviewed by Paul R. Skolnik, M.D., chair of Carilion Clinic’s Department of Medicine.

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