What is social distancing and should you social distance to help your family? We’re breaking down social distance vs quarantine vs isolation and even social distancing strategies to help keep your kids safe during emergencies.
Social Distancing Definition
What is social distancing?
Social distancing (SD) is known as a “non-pharmaceutical infection control action” that is usually implemented by public health officials. It helps to prevent further spread of infections and contagious diseases between people. By using social distancing, it helps to prevent infected individuals from infecting those who are not infected.
Social Distancing Examples:
- Keeping a certain amount of space between yourself and others when out in public
- School dismissals
- Event cancellations
- Short term work from home requirements
- Closure of non-essential businesses
- Limiting or closing public transportation
- Quarantines or isolation of infected individuals
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Does social distancing work?
According to a 2018 medical study:
“The modeling studies estimated that workplace social distancing measures alone produced a median reduction of 23% in the cumulative influenza attack rate in the general population. It also delayed and reduced the peak influenza attack rate.”
Social Distance vs Quarantine vs Isolation
During times of pandemics or widespread emergencies, you may hear health officials use terms like social distancing and quarantine and isolation.
So, what is the difference?
- Social distancing prevents people from interacting closely or frequently in order to prevent the spread of infectious disease.
- Quarantine is when a person, who has been exposed to the infectious disease, is separated from others until it is proven that the person does or doesn’t have the disease.
- Isolation is separating an ill person from the healthy people.
So, do you need a social distancing plan for your family?
Social distancing is usually implemented by public health organizations during times of pandemics when controlling spread of infection is important (like flu or other things). They will make announcements for mandatory closing of businesses or put limitations on hours. There will also be other recommendations about staying home and keeping 3-6 feet of distance between yourself and others, which is how far infected droplets can easily spread with coughing or sneezing.
Even if public health officials haven’t implemented social distancing, during emergencies you may decide to implement it on your own to protect the health of your family.
10 Family Tips for Social Distancing
- When in public, keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others.
- Stay at home as much as possible.
- Cancel participation in extracurricular activities.
- Temporarily avoid large public gatherings.
- Isolate those in your family who are sick to one room or area of the house.
- Review proper handwashing and hygiene with your kids. Frequently wash hands and use single-use towels to dry instead of a shared towel. Sneeze or cough into elbows. Stop touching your face (including mouth, nose, eyes).
- Order groceries and other items you need online instead of going to the store.
- Allow your kids to use alternate ways to connect with others like online apps, social media, texting, online video game where they can talk to friends, etc.
- Have small gatherings of 1-2 healthy friends at your house (if allowed).
- Don’t forget to do things to have fun to decrease the stress! Go hiking, go camping, play board games!
WE HOPED THIS HELPED YOU UNDERSTAND A LITTLE MORE ABOUT SOCIAL DISTANCING AND HOW IT CAN HELP YOUR FAMILY DURING A HEALTH CRISIS!