Covid-19: Parents trying their best to keep children home and safe

PETALING JAYA: Parents are heeding the Health director-general's call to take extra precautions against Covid-19 when it comes to their children's health, as many are keeping their children at home and away from crowds and other high-risk environments.

Maintenance supervisor Fadhli Afiq Norarnizar, 32, said either he or his wife would stay at home with their two-year-old daughter while the other goes shopping for daily necessities.

"Our stand is clear, one of us has to stay back. We don't bring our daughter out to malls any more," he said on Thursday (June 3).

He said that if he had no choice but to bring his daughter out of the house owing to unforeseen circumstances, he would follow standard operating procedures and make her wear a face mask and a face shield.

They would also avoid going out during peak hours or visiting crowded places.

On Wednesday (June 2), parents were urged to take proactive measures to protect their children from Covid-19 infection following an increase in cases involving infants under one year and children below five years old.

Over 82,341 cases of Covid-19 in the country involved infants and children.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said parents with babies and children under five should not bring their children to high-risk places.

He said such places included supermarkets, public markets and other crowded places, and advised parents to buy their daily necessities online.

Another parent, 35-year-old Lina Izdihar from Kuala Lumpur, said she no longer takes her children grocery shopping.

"We just do everything online now. I will ask my husband to buy something for me if it is urgent, but none of my children will follow us out," she said.

Facebook user Bryant Gian said both he and his wife are working as they are in essential services, and one of them is forced to bring their children along.

"We can't send our kids to childcare due to the spike in cases. It is not easy for us as we don't have a maid or our parents to look after our kids," he posted in reply to the news report on Dr Noor Hisham's call on The Star's Facebook page.

Lim Joe pointed out that unless conditions are ideal, parents still need to bring their children to supermarkets.

"How can young kids stay alone for so long?" he asked.

Sabrina Hasnul said it was basic common sense for parents to take extra safety measures if they are forced to bring their children about during the lockdown.

"Unfortunately there are parents who would still bring their small kids to the mall before the implementation of MCO 3.0. The funny thing is the parents would wear face masks but the kids would not," she noted.

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