COVID-19 and Children

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 to protect your children from COVID-19 and how to keep them healthy:

You may teach and encourage them to do the same things everyone is doing to stay healthy. 

  • 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. 

Wearing of masks

It is recommended that everyone 2 years and older must wear a mask that covers the nose and mount in a public setting. Masks should not be put on babies or children younger than 2 years of age. Children younger than 2 years of age may have trouble breathing and are unable to remove the mask without assistance. 

Having difficulties in adjusting to new routines and recommendations

Helping children understand and follow recommendations can be challenging. This is a great challenge if you have a child that has intellectual disabilities or sensory 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 case there is an outbreak in your community:

An outbreak can be stressful not just for adults and also for the children. Talk to your children about COVID-19 and help them cope with stress.

  1. If talking to your children remain calm and know that they will react to both what and how you say it. 
  2. Tell them that 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.
  3. Be approachable. Let them know that they can approach you if they have questions or curious about things especially related to COVID-19. 
  4. Pay attention to what they see or hear on the radio, television, or online. You may lessen the time they are on the screen and too focused on COVID-19. 
  5. Watch your words. Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma. 

Try to keep the information simple. Remind them that health and school officials are working hard to keep everyone healthy and safe.