It’s hard for us not to have coronavirus on our minds, especially as parents. Illinois officials have announced 685,467 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Here is what Chicago parents need to know about the coronavirus pandemic, including prevention tips, remote learning, family-safe activities and ways to help.
COVID-19 Resources for Parents
Coronavirus 101: Symptoms & Precautions
What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are part of a group of viruses that can cause a mild illness like the common cold. More recently caused by a novel coronavirus, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that has caused outbreaks of mild and severe respiratory illness around the world, according to Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Larry Kociolek of Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
Some precautions families should take:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home if sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay away from other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your area, especially for people who are at higher risk of getting sick.
Additional Health Resources:
- COVID-19 Testing Sites in Illinois (Illinois Department of Public Health)
- Tips on Getting Kids to Wear Face Masks
- COVID-Related Disease Affecting Kids
- Having A Baby During Coronavirus
- How to Properly Wear a Face Mask
- Ways to Avoid COVID-19 Stress as a Parent
- How to Navigate the Holidays During the Pandemic
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Chicagoland families are dealing with remote learning at home. This has become a challenging time for parents and teachers as they try to navigate students in this new normal. We’ve assembled a remote learning guide for parents with resources to make digital learning a little bit easier for families. Tips include reconfiguring your learning space, amping up your Wi-Fi and more.
Additional Remote Learning Resources:
- Online Learning Resources for Kids
- Educational YouTube Channels for Kids to Watch
- Tips for Digital At-Home Learning During COVID-19
- The Ultimate Online School Supply List for Kids
- Setting Up a Pandemic Pod for Your Child
- Brain Breaks to Try with Remote Learning
- Planning Your IEPS During Pandemic
- Ways to Bring Mindfulness During Remote Learning Routine
- How to Protect Young Eyes While Learning Is Virtual
At-Home Activities in Chicagoland
While the stay-at-home order has been lifted in Illinois, social distancing and quarantining are still important practices to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Families might get bored staying at home, but there are plenty of indoor activities to keep kids busy.
Watching movies is a great way to pass the time. Follow our Watch This, Do That series where we feature fun kids’ activities inspired by your favorite movies. Movies that we’ve featured include Black Panther, Frozen, Despicable Me and Harry Potter.
More At-Home Activities:
- Easy Ways to Host a Virtual Playdate
- Fun Backgrounds to Add to Your Zoom Video Calls
- Ways to ‘Visit’ Your Favorite Chicago Places Without Leaving The House
- Free and Creative Coloring Pages for Kids of All Ages
- Easy, Cheap and Fun Sensory Bin Ideas
- Podcasts You’ll Enjoy Listening to With Your Kids
- 15 Free Online Workouts To Keep Your Family Energized
- 6 At-Home Date Night Ideas for Parents
Tier 3 Mitigation
While the state is under Tier 3 Mitigation, many indoor attractions are closed until further notice. We’ve rounded up the best things to do with kids this weekend, including some date night ideas and at-home activities.
More Family-Safe Activities:
- Beautiful Bike Rides in Chicago and the Suburbs
- Holiday Scavenger Hunt — Free Printable
- Nature Centers for Chicago Kids to Enjoy a Breath of Fresh Air
- Magical Places to See Holiday Lights
- Neighborhood Holiday Light Displays
Ways You Can Help
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit hard for our small businesses and communities. We launched our Look For The Helpers series to feature locals that are helping out. For example, a 7-year-old Chicagoan has sold handmade bracelets and has raised more than $14,000 for Lurie Children’s Hospital. A teen donated her new booklet of puzzles to help entertain hospitalized children and seniors in assisted living facilities.
Want to help as a family? Join our Kind Kid Challenge ‘B-KIND’ Bingo Game that features 25 acts of kindness to practice during the pandemic.
Other Ideas to Give Back:
- Ways Families Can Support Local Heroes
- Give Your Health Care Heroes a (Virtual) Hug or Message
- Kids Are Putting Up Quarantine Rainbows on Windows
- Ways to Support Small Businesses at Home
Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram.
This article originally published on March 11, 2020. It is being updated regularly as new information comes in.