COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus)

Parents & Caregivers

This is a difficult time for everyone, and now more than ever, we all need to support families and do our best for the people who rely on us every day. This section also includes links to information on self-care and supporting caregivers. 

This section contains general information on COVID-19 designed to support parents, families and caregivers.  Lambton Public Health provides advice based on best practices, available evidence and in the interest of community and family health. 

Keep your family and children you care for safe

If you or a family member has symptoms that you are concerned about, please use Ontario’s COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool.  

Expecting parents or parents with infants:

Have questions about prenatal care? Looking for information about breastfeeding? Experiencing the “baby blues”? Questions about growth and development or parenting?

Visit this website or call our Family Health Line at 519 383-3817.

Parenting

With many parents unable to work or working from home, and children home from school, it will be important to establish routines for children of all ages that strive to balance learning, physical activity, and healthy eating – all of which can positively contribute to children’s mental health.

Children and Teens need guidance that play dates of any size or social outings with friends are not recommended by Lambton Public Health at this time.

Caring for someone in their home

Whether you are caring for a family member, friend or neighbour, follow the recommendations below to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • If you are in the at-risk group for COVID-19, please consider your own health before helping others.
  • Practice physical distancing (at least two metres/6 feet apart) when possible.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Sneeze or cough into your sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Learn about face coverings.
  • If you have any symptoms of illness, or have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms, self-isolate and use the online COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to determine if you need to seek further care.

Consider the following tips to keep everyone safe:

  • Contact the person you are trying to help in a safe way (e.g. a phone call, text message, drop a note into their door with your name and phone number), and let them know that you are available and can assist with shopping etc.
  • If someone has asked you to help them, do not enter their home unless absolutely necessary.
  • If you are dropping off shopping or a prescription etc., simply call and let them know when you are dropping items off at their door. If face to face contact is necessary, remember to practice physical distancing.
  • Limit non-essential visits in and outside of the home.  Utilize food and medication delivery services where possible, connect the person to social engagement opportunities either over the phone (eg. Tel-check or Lambton County Connects), or set up online channels of communication by downloading apps on their electronic devices or connecting them with social media sites that connect them to programming or loved ones.

The Ontario Caregiver Association offers free resources, a helpline and live chat for those caring for loved ones.  They also have a collection of COVID-19 specific tips and resources for caregivers during this challenging time.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have to go to work. Who can watch my children?


Are you a healthcare worker or essential service provider? If so, you may be eligible for emergency child care.

The Ministry of Education has been working with service system managers and First Nations to open select emergency child care centres to support health care and other essential frontline workers.

To learn more and to determine your eligibility, refer to the Government of Ontario’s website.

In the event that you are required to go out and are in dire need of additional childcare support, determine if there is a trusted adult or high school student in your neighbourhood that is home right now.

Practice COVID-19 screening daily:

1. Does anyone in your house or the child care provider’s house have any of the following symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough or difficulty breathing?
2. Has anyone travelled outside of Canada (including the U.S.) in the past 14 days?
3. Has anyone had close contact with a lab confirmed COVID-19 case?
4. Does anyone in the household have ANY new symptoms of illness?
5. Consider using Ontario’s Self Assessment Tool if symptoms develop.

If no to all of the above, keep the groups small and consistent.

*If anyone has any symptoms of illness they must self-isolate for 14 days.

Please note:

• Care providers need to be aware that they should NOT take children out into physical settings OR have people into the home who do not live there.
• Food and/or drinks should NOT be shared between people.
• Proper handwashing is extremely important.
• Surfaces and toys should be cleaned daily.
• There should be no shared sensory play or use of stuffed animals.

I still have to work during the pandemic, can I leave my children with their grandparents?

There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:

• aged 65 and over
• with compromised immune systems
• with underlying medical conditions

If grandparents are under the age of 65 and healthy, practice daily COVID-19 screening:

1. Does anyone in your house or the grandparent’s house have any of the following symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough or difficulty breathing?
2. Has anyone travelled outside of Canada (including the U.S.) in the past 14 days?
3. Has anyone had close contact with a lab confirmed COVID-19 case?
4. Does anyone in the household have ANY new symptoms of illness?
5. Consider using Ontario’s Self Assessment Tool if symptoms develop.

*If anyone has any symptoms of illness they must self-isolate for 14 days.

Please note:

• Grandparents need to be aware that they should NOT take children out into physical settings OR having people into the home who do not live there.
• Food and/or drinks should NOT be shared between people.
• Proper handwashing is extremely important.
• Surfaces and toys should be cleaned daily.
• There should be no shared sensory play or use of stuffed animals.

Can my child still attend a home daycare?

The least amount of contact with others is recommended. If your child is attending at home daycare it should be with a small, consistent group of children. It is important that all families involved are screened daily:

1. Does anyone in your house or the child care provider’s house have any of the following symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough or difficulty breathing?
2. Has anyone travelled outside of Canada (including the U.S.) in the past 14 days?
3. Has anyone had close contact with a lab confirmed COVID-19 case?

If no to all of the above, keep the groups small and consistent.

*If anyone has any symptoms of illness they must self-isolate for 14 days.

Please note:

• Care providers need to be aware that they should NOT take children out into physical settings OR have people into the home who do not live there.
• Food and/or drinks should NOT be shared between people.
• Proper handwashing is extremely important.
• Surfaces and toys should be cleaned daily.
• There should be no shared sensory play or use of stuffed animals.

Where can I find more information about procedures for childcare settings?

Public Health Guidance for Childcare Settings

Is the Ontario Government opening daycare centres for frontline workers?

Child care for health-care and frontline staff

I don’t have anyone to watch my children. What do I do?

Ontarians may be eligible for Employment Insurance Benefits if they are unable to secure childcare for their children.

Resources

Looking after your family

Mental Health, Community Supports and Resources

Parenting

Ask a Question

Fill out the form below if you have a question about COVID-19 and taking care of children.