Children may worry about themselves, their families, and friends because of the pandemic we have. Family members, other trusted adults, and parents can play a significant role in helping them make sense of what they hear about the pandemic. Unlike adults, a child does not seem to be at higher risk for COVID-19. However, here is some advice you may follow and impart to your children.
How toprotect your children from COVID-19 and how to keep them healthy:
You mayteach and encourage them to do the same things everyone is doing to stayhealthy.
- Cover the nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue and throw it in the trash.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay at home when you feel sick.
- For at least 20 seconds, wash the hands often with soap and water.
- Have an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% of alcohol.
- Clean and often disinfect commonly touched surfaces and objects.
- Watch for any signs of illness and signs of stress.
- Teach and reinforce everyday preventive actions.
- Help your child to stay socially connected and stay active.
It isrecommended that everyone 2 years and older must wear a mask that covers thenose and mount in a public setting. Masks should not be put on babies orchildren younger than 2 years of age. Children younger than 2 years of age mayhave trouble breathing and are unable to remove the mask withoutassistance.
Havingdifficulties in adjusting to new routines and recommendations
Helpingchildren understand and follow recommendations can be challenging. This is agreat challenge if you have a child that has intellectual disabilities orsensory issues.
- To address behavioral challenges and to develop new routines, behavioral techniques can be used. You may also have activities to help switch routines and following recommendations. Try rewarding them in small ways.
- The therapist or teachers of your child may also have resources that help successfully introduce new routines to them.
- While learning at home, continue special education services, and support them in everything they are doing.
In casethere is an outbreak in your community:
Anoutbreak can be stressful not just for adults and also for the children. Talkto your children about COVID-19 and help them cope with stress.
- Iftalking to your children remain calm and know that they will react to both whatand how you say it.
- Tell themthat they are safe. You can share with them how you deal with your stress.Children may learn how to cope with their stress from you.
- Beapproachable. Let them know that they can approach you if they have questionsor curious about things especially related to COVID-19.
- Payattention to what they see or hear on the radio, television, or online. You maylessen the time they are on the screen and too focused on COVID-19.
- Watchyour words. Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma.
Try tokeep the information simple. Remind them that health and school officials areworking hard to keep everyone healthy and safe.