"The practice of training children should be followed," KPAI Commissioner for Education, Retno Listyarti told ANTARA in Jakarta on Friday.
Listyarti highlighted the need to train children to familiarize them to follow a clean and healthy lifestyle and inculcate habits, including wearing masks and regularly washing hands with soap to prevent the spread of diseases, including COVID-19.
"Wearing masks requires training. Hence, children should be trained on the right way to wear masks. Start by making them wear (masks) for 30 minutes and then increase the time by 10 minutes every day. Thus, when they return to school, the children are accustomed to wearing masks for a longer period of time," she explained.
In addition to the importance of wearing masks as part of their daily lives, children also need to be edified on the main objective behind wearing masks as a necessity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, so they do not take them off while engaging in outdoor activities.
"Children must be made aware of the importance of wearing masks for self-protection around people, who sneeze, cough, and fall sick, to prevent spread of the disease," she reiterated.
Furthermore, children should be regularly reminded to wash their hands with soap to avoid transmission.
"Parents should not merely remind them to wash their hands, but they should also teach them the right handwashing techniques. If necessary, an alarm can be set to remind them to wash their hands," she stated.
These habits should be inculcated or engrained in children earlier to ensure that they can be better prepared to adapt to the new normal situation when they return back to school or while interacting with others.
"They should be prepared. Parents should prepare their children to face (the pandemic). Teach them, educate them, and model them," Listyarti stated.
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