KANSAS CITY, Mo. — About 200 elementary and middle school students are learning a new way to greet each other to stay healthy and help prevent the spread of infection. Social distancing techniques are being taught to help stop the coronavirus.
At the Champions For Health Youth Summit, kids focus on improving health in their community. Usually that means eating healthier, and being more physically active. But this year, with the threat of coronavirus all around us, these kids are learning new ways to interact with each other.
Instead of shaking hands, high fiving, or even fist bumping: children instead are learning the foot bump. Extending one foot out to touch another, toe to toe, or shoe to shoe, is viewed as a safer way to say hello while maintaining a safe social distance that may help prevent viruses from spreading.
“I think foot bumping is a good idea because it still keeps that intimate feeling that you are saying ‘Hi’ but it kind of is a more safe, hygienic way to do that and make new friends,” said Parker Benz, a 7th grader at St. Agnes Catholic School in Roeland Park, Kan.
Some of the kids say that their schools have always emphasized preventative measures like hand washing and coughing into your elbow. But this year, more people are worried about getting sick, and that’s why so long as children don’t get carried away and start kicking each other in the shins, many think the foot bump will catch on.
There have been reports that the coronavirus has not impacted children as severely as older adults. Still educators say there’s a lot we don’t know about the disease, and learning the foot bump may result in safer hygiene habits that will last a lifetime.