Chao's research focuses on preventing childhood injury, which is the leading cause of death among children. She notes that there are increased safety risks as children are sheltering-in-place at home with their families. Normally children are out of the house 7 to 10 hours a day in a supervised environment. Now these children are home, and parents are juggling more than they ever have had to before as they try to balance working from home, caring for and educating their kids.
To help keep kids safe during this time, Chao offers helpful tips for parents and caregivers, including:
Survey your home. Things that can be used as a launching point for kids have to be put away.
Make sure a bed or a couch isn't near a window, and install window locks or window guards. The number one cause of unintentional injury among children is falls outside of a window
Ensure that cleaning supplies and medications are locked away
If your child is going to run outside, make sure they are supervised
For families with a pool, see that the gate is locked and that there is a child-safe pool cover
Empty all kiddie pools, buckets and containers immediately after use, and store them upside down
When riding bikes or scooters, make sure kids are wearing helmets
Within the article, Chao also discusses risks specific to teens, the potential impact of psychological trauma as a result of the pandemic, and coping mechanisms for parents during this time.
If parents have a concern about their child's health in an emergency situation, they should bring the child to the hospital. At Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, care teams have made it very safe to bring children in during the pandemic through measures that include testing of all employees and staff for COVID-19, and treatment of all COVID-19 patients in a designated area of the hospital.
Stanford Children's Health, with Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area's largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. As part of Stanford Medicine, a leading academic health system that also includes Stanford Health Care and Stanford University School of Medicine, we are cultivating the next generation of medical professionals and are at the forefront of scientific research to improve children's health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at stanfordchildrens.org.