As Australian families grapple with the demands of homeschooling amid the coronavirus crisis, after-hours doctors are offering advice on how to maintain a healthy routine for kids.
House Call Doctor is Queensland’s largest after-hours medical service and Clinical Director Dr Ryan Harvey said with more parents opting to keep their children home during COVID-19 restrictions, it was important families maintain balance and healthy habits.
“As a parent, keeping your kids entertained and educated while often you’re also working from home can be challenging,” Dr Harvey said.
“It’s important to be flexible and adaptive when creating your homeschooling routine and letting your kids be involved in this planning process will ensure they are engaged and willing to learn throughout the day. A routine is important though, so consider starting your day as you would a regular school day – by getting dressed and sitting down for breakfast.”
Dr Ryan Harvey said parents needed to ensure they schedule plenty of breaks throughout the day for eating, drinking and outside activities.
“With more and more time spent at home, it’s important for both you and your kids to get outdoors for some fresh air and exercise,” Dr Harvey said.
“Stock up on plenty of fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks to last you so you don’t let unhealthy temptations get the best of you. It’s also vital you keep up hydration so make sure your kids keep a bottle of water with them so they can sip on it throughout the day.”
Dr Ryan Harvey also emphasised the importance of maintaining basic hygiene practices, particularly during the current health pandemic.
“Schedule 10 to 15 minutes after each activity or meal break to wash your hands with your kids and sanitise your workspace, toys and devices,” he said.
“Evidence shows a 20-second hand wash remains the best way to rid ourselves of germs. Why not teach your kids some songs that last 20 seconds so they can sing at the sink, or if you’re creative, even come up with one yourself as a family?”
House Call Doctor is Queensland’s largest after-hours medical service and has conducted more than 800,000 house calls since starting in 2015.
Dr Ryan Harvey joined the House Call Doctor team in 2015 and is now working as an Assistant Medical Director in Brisbane. He also currently works in General Practice at a local health clinic. After hours, Dr Harvey provides medical care to families in their own homes. Dr Harvey is experienced in paediatrics and has travelled extensively, administering medical care to children in remote overseas communities.
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