Escalating concerns about COVID-19 can make children and families anxious. The following tips can help your family adjust to the “new normal” and stay safe and healthy.

How to protect your family’s health.

The simplest advice can be found on Google’s home page that features “DO THE FIVE,” a summary of basic steps from the World Health Organization (WHO) to protect against the coronavirus:

  1. Wash your hands often
  2. Cough into your elbow
  3. Don’t touch your face
  4. Stay more than 3 feet apart
  5. If you feel sick, stay home

Family members should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place or blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing. Encourage your kids to sing the Happy Birthday song to make sure they get a thorough wash.

Current evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC) suggests the coronavirus can survive for hours to days on household surfaces and recommends frequent disinfection to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.

Considering that hand sanitizer and antibacterial cleaning products are nearly impossible to find, this advice is easier said than done. Here are two do-it-yourself recipes that can do the job:

  • Hand sanitizer (for situations when soap and water are not available) – Mix 3/4 cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 percent) with 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel to keep the alcohol from drying out hands. Optional: add a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender oil, or lemon juice.
  • Disinfecting cleaners –Diluted household bleach solutions can be used, if it is safe for the surface. Mix 1/3 cup of bleach per one gallon of water (or four teaspoons bleach per one quart of water). The CDC also says household (3%) hydrogen peroxide is an effective alternative, and suggests pouring it undiluted into a spray bottle, spraying it on the surface to be cleaned and letting it sit on the surface for at least one minute.

Recipes provided by: The CDC and Consumer Reports