Pediatricians to Parents: This Thanksgiving…Keep Safety on the Table

November 19, 2020
by Dekalb Pediatrics

Recommendations from the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians

“While we want families to enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday, we encourage efforts to keep COVID-19 transmission to a minimum,” said Hugo Scornik, MD, FAAP, president of the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “There are many ways to celebrate the holiday while staying safe.”
The Georgia AAP, which represents more than 1,800 pediatricians across the state, offers the following advice for parents to have the safest possible Thanksgiving celebration.

• Celebrate with members of your own household. The lowest risk option, according to the CDC, is to limit your Thanksgiving gatherings to those who live in your household. Planning a special feast, cooking with your children and decorating your home are great ways to celebrate while minimizing the risk of COVID-19.
• Share the experience remotely. Include the rest of the family in the Thanksgiving festivities over video chat. Keep the tradition of sharing what you are grateful for or set aside time to say grace together.
• Plan a drop-off Potluck. Prepare traditional recipes for family and neighbors and instead of sharing them in person, delight them with a doorstep drop-off.
• Grocery shop online. Staying home as much as you can is the best way to prevent COVID-19. Instead of going to the supermarket, do your shopping online to limit exposure.
• Stay home with young babies. We advise all parents with babies under the age of 2 months to stay home and celebrate only with members of your household to minimize the risk of disease transmission.

Tips to Make Mixed-Household Gatherings Safer:
• Keep gatherings small and short. The smaller the gathering, the safer you are. Risk also increases with increased exposure time so reduce the length of your celebration.
• Wear cloth face coverings and keep your distance. Stay 6 feet apart from those who do not live in your house, especially while eating. Wear a cloth face covering whenever you are not eating or drinking.
• Open windows and stay outdoors when possible. If you are indoors, open windows for better ventilation. If weather permits, gather outdoors. Remember to maintain physical distance and wear a cloth face covering even when outside.
• Be safe when serving. Choose one person to do the serving to avoid everyone touching the serving utensils. Remind children to wash their hands and keep hand sanitizer easily available.
• Remind everybody to follow safety steps. Upon arrival at the event, ask your guests to follow the steps that lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This includes wearing cloth face coverings, physical distancing, and washing hands often.
• Remember, do not host or participate in any in-person festivities if you or anybody in your household: o has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is still at risk of spreading it to others. o had any coronavirus symptoms within 48 hours of the gathering. o is waiting for test results. o could have been exposed to someone in the last 14 days. o is at high risk (those with severe underlying medical conditions, weakened immune systems, the elderly, etc.)

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