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Social distancing means keeping distance or space between people to help prevent the spread of illness.
To help slow the spread and reduce your risk of COVID-19, stay at least 6 feet away from others. Keeping physical distance is important, even if you are not sick.
Social distancing is just one of the ways to protect yourself and your family.
Social distancing is especially important for cancer patients and others who have weak immune systems. Read more about COVID-19 in Children with Cancer.
Explain that the most effective way to keep from getting sick, or from passing germs onto someone else, is to keep a safe distance away from other people.
Germs are very tiny so we can’t see them. A cough or sneeze can spread germs through the air for up to 6 feet. They can also live on surfaces like a doorknob or phone. That is why we need to be extra safe: stay a safe distance from others, wash hands often, and cover our coughs and sneezes.
Get more tips on talking to your child about coronavirus and COVID-19.
Use a fine mist spray bottle to talk about respiratory droplets and how germs spread through coughs or sneezes.
Estimate distance. Have a contest to see who can mark 6 feet the best. Talk about what that means in everyday life.
Discuss the importance of personal space. You might even identify potential “space invaders” and when it might be hard to stay away from others. Come up with ideas to help. Also, discuss what to say to friends who might not have the same “rules” for playdates.
Social distancing means limiting close contact between yourself and others in your community, even if you are not sick or at risk. This is a voluntary practice to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Quarantine or self-quarantine means staying at home and avoiding contact with others because you are at risk for COVID-19 due to possible exposure.
If you are in quarantine, you should take steps to keep from passing illness on to others in your home:
Quarantine may also be ordered by health departments or federal or state officials. Learn more about the current quarantine guidelines.
Isolation means that you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and need to be extra careful to avoid spreading the virus to others.
Isolation may occur at home or in the hospital. Caregivers should wear protective gear to lower risk of becoming infected.
Reviewed: December 2021