Dr. Jennifer King from Hawaii Pacific Health joined the COVID-19 Care Conversation to discuss caring for keiki during the coronavirus pandemic.
With the opening of many parks and beaches, King reminded parents to be cognizant of water safety, providing adult supervision while keiki are in the water. “Anytime kids are on any device with a wheel, if it’s not a car, they need to have a helmet on,” she said.
When asked about the process for seeking health care services, King said that if it isn’t something you would go to the emergency room for, she would suggest first utilizing the telehealth option available by your health care provider. She explained that telehealth technology has significantly improved over these past few months, which has enabled physicians to broaden their virtual health care capabilities.
King briefly shared insights on how the fall season will be with regards to sports. She said things will be different until there is a vaccine or enough immunity in the community. She believes it will take a change in culture, creativity for team sports, and a lot of education for coaches and athletes.
In discussing the mental health impacts on kids, she encouraged parents to do regular check-ins by simply asking how they are feeling. Some may be able to verbalize their feelings, while others may require parents to look for changes in behavior. Dr. King stressed the importance of engaging in one-on-one conversations as well as family time.
She also reminded families that “our bodies are made to move,” and encouraged parents to get creative at home to engage kids in physical activity. For those who are less creative, she suggested utilizing online tools like Pinterest. “Moving is key,” she said.
“In a perfect world, you want them doing 30 minutes of work and 30 minutes moving around — sometimes that’s not feasible,” she said. “Even if every 20 minutes they can look away from the screen and take 20 seconds of a breather, it’s really helpful.”
Watch here and comment through our Facebook page. Join us tomorrow when state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park will be our guest.
The COVID-19 Care Conversation, sponsored by Hawai’i Executive Collaborative and Hawaii Pacific Health, airs live every weekday at 10:30 a.m. on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji discuss the latest news, resources and community concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii.