To help limit the spread of Coronavirus and to support public health efforts, many family attractions have closed temporarily. In the meantime, we invite our readers to enjoy virtual events highlighted in our Things To Do calendar. When you do go out, follow public health guidelines: wear masks, practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently. To learn why social distancing is important and effective in lessening the spread of COVID-19, hear from Dr. Alexis Elward, Chief Medical Officer at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Blinking Pink and Seeing Red

The moment my 3-year-old woke up today, I knew we were in for a long morning. His eye was red and gunky, and he was rubbing it vigorously. Pink eye strikes again, for the second time in a week. It seemed like it was awfully soon for a relapse to me -- like maybe the previous drops hadn't worked. Like maybe it was time to call out the big guns.

Two hours later, in the examining room at The Children's Clinic in Ladue, I discovered that the big guns were not going to be called. Instead, our health care provider placed the blame on a failure of the front-line defenses -- namely, hand-washing. She explained that it's not surprising a child who's in preschool four days a week would have recurring conjunctivitis (aka pink eye), even as often as once or twice a month, and that based on his symptoms, she thought a bacterial infection was likely given his symptoms. There are other causes too, like viruses, allergies or plugged tear ducts, and they all have different symptoms, which is why pediatricians generally want to see children with red, itchy or swollen eyes rather than diagnosing them over the phone. Pink eye is extremely contagious, especially among kids because they rub their eyes and touch each other's toys.  At this point in our conversation, she turned her full attention to the 3-year-old and said, "Keep your hands away from your face, OK?" He agreed readily, no doubt thinking of the purple dinosaur he was going to score for being a model patient.

His preschool class has been studying germs this winter -- some of it through first-hand experience, unfortunately -- but amid all the lessons on hand-washing and coughing into your elbow and tissue use, I don't remember hearing anything about not touching your face. That's one lesson my 3-year-old will be hearing over and over and over from now on.

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Amy De La Hunt is a journalist and editor who lives in the St. Louis metro area and works across the country as a writer, copy editor, project manager and editorial consultant on everything from fiction books to monthly magazines to blog posts. When she's not chauffeuring her teenage sons to activities, Amy is an enthusiastic amateur cook, landscaper, Latin dancer and traveler. Follow Amy on Instagram @amy_in_words

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Things to Do

Magic At Home with The Magic House

The Magic House is bringing innovative, hands-on learning to you at home with its #MagicAtHome series of interactive, instructional online presentations. The Magic At Home series of activities includes lots of fun projects that you can make at home with common materials. The easy-to-follow directions mean your kids can make paper sculpture, do shaving cream marble painting, create make-your-own flowers, go "fishin," make TP roll animals, make salad spin art and more.

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Science @ Home with the Saint Louis Science Center

The Science Louis Science Center is continuing to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning through its online Science @ Home series! Visit the Science Center's web site or social media channels for DIY science experiments that can be done at home, Amazing Science Demonstrations from the Science Center's Energy Stage team, connections to local scientists, astronomy updates from the McDonnell Planetarium, live chats and more. Content is designed for all ages. 

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Explore Purina Farms: Trainer Tips
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Purina Farms is bringing the best of the farm to your home every week! You can virtually explore Purina Farms through videos featuring the animals, dog trainers and others who work there, as well as the pets who work and play at Purina Farms every day. Each day of the week features videos on a variety of topics including animal connections, training tips and responsible pet care advice for kids. 

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Explore Purina Farms: Amazing Canines
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
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Purina Farms is bringing the best of the farm to your home every week! You can virtually explore Purina Farms through videos featuring the animals, dog trainers and others who work there, as well as the pets who work and play at Purina Farms every day. Each day of the week features videos on a variety of topics including animal connections, training tips and responsible pet care advice for kids. 

 

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