Medwatch: Routines are important for kids during pandemic

Medwatch: Routines are important for kids during pandemic

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The coronavirus started summer break for kids and parents a few months early, and it's still unknown when kids will return to the classroom. A local nurse practitioner said keeping or starting a routine back up can make things easier for both you and your kid.

Anna Reed, who is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Lawton Community Health Center, said the worst thing you can do for your kid is not have a routine for them.

“Kids need that,” Reed said. “They need stability so to speak. They need to know what to expect. They need to know that we get up, and we eat breakfast, and we get dressed, and we brush our teeth. That is how we start our day every day, no matter what, even if we’re not leaving our house.”

Reed said eating meals on a regular basis is also important.

 "We've heard all that 'oh my gosh everybody has gained so much weight during this pandemic' because we stay home, we're bored, and we eat all the time. You say, 'no' and you close the pantry door. That's what you do. If you do say 'ok it's snack time' it's not processed, packaged snack."

She said the kids that she's seen for well-child checks are saying that they're spending between 5 and 8 hours on their tablets, watching TV, or playing games. Reed said being in front of a screen too long can affect a kid's mood  no matter how old they are.

“So, it’s very important for kids to turn that TV off, turn the tablet off, say ‘no’. They all have the ability to set a limit on how much screen time you’re allowed to have, and parents just need to do it,” she said. “Everybody has the ability to do that. Then, make your kids get outside and play. I don’t want to hear ‘it’s too hot, it’s too cold, it’s too windy,’ there is no reason you can’t go outside and find something to do.”

She said making sure kids are going to their yearly well visits are important because they're checking to see if they're growing, and making sure they're not gaining too much weight.

"But then if they need the necessary vaccines to go either to daycare or back to school, then now is the time to get them. We have good availability as far as visits are concerned," she said.

If you don’t feel comfortable going to the doctor just yet, she says they also have TeleVisits that you can do over the phone. Reed said while that is available, there are some things that doctors will need to see in person.

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