Staying Home for a Cause: Social Distancing FAQs

Until there’s a vaccine for COVID-19, the best way to keep everyone safe is to wear a mask, practice great hygiene… and social distance.

Our pediatric experts break down the what, why and how of social distancing.

What is social distancing?

  • At minimum, it means avoiding crowds and, when you are out in public, keeping at least six feet away from anyone who’s not part of your household. (And always wear a mask!) When everyone in a community does this, it’s one of the best ways to stop an illness from spreading.
  • Look to local executive orders for additional guidance – like staying home and limiting contact to immediate family if COVID-19 cases rise in your community.
  • Confused about the difference between social distancing and self-quarantining? Pediatrician Nancy Trout, MD, explains what self-quarantining means for your family.

If my child and I don’t have coronavirus symptoms or exposure, does this still apply to us?

  • Yes! COVID-19 can be hard to spot. Especially in kids, it often shows up as very mild (or no) symptoms. Social distancing helps ensure you and your child don’t pass the virus on to someone else without ever realizing you were carrying it.
  • Bottom line: Even for kids who feel perfectly healthy – and adults, too – the fewer people and places they come in close contact with, the safer for everyone.

> Related: Tips, Tools and Support for Your Child’s Mental Health

Can my child and I still go outdoors and leave windows open for fresh air?

  • Yes. Social distancing is about staying away from other people, not staying inside.
  • In fact, it’s a good idea to build outside-time into your child’s routine. A break for fresh air is one of the best ways to keep kids engaged in learning at home. (Want more tips? Check out our School & Remote Learning resources.)
  • Just keep in mind that you should avoid crowds and highly trafficked areas, keep at least six feet distance from others and wear a mask around other people, whether you’re inside or out.

If I’m spending most of my time at home with my family, how often should I be washing my hands?

You should wash your hands any time you may have picked up someone else’s germs, had your hands near your face or are about to be in a situation where you might transfer your own germs to someone else. This includes:

  • Before you leave the house
  • Immediately upon returning to your house
  • Before preparing food, and before and after eating
  • Every time you cough, sneeze or blow your nose

Questions about coronavirus? Connecticut Children’s COVID-19 hotline is open 24/7. Call 1.833.226.2362.

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