Talking to Children About COVID-19
As an adult, the overwhelming amount of changing information about the COVID-19 coronavirus is frightening. Imagine what’s going through the minds of children around the country and the world. With school canceled without much warning and social distancing being required in every state, kids have a lot to adjust to in a very short period of time.
If you’re unsure how to talk to your children about COVID-19 and the many recent changes in their lives, the care team at Pediatric Care of Four Corners in Four Corners, FL, offers a few key points to remember.
Open the lines of communication
At an age-appropriate level, take time to address the situation rather than letting your child fear the worst. You can discuss the main points of the virus and how staying at home keeps you, them, and other people from getting sick.
Explain that COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that scientists are still studying, and doctors are working very hard to help sick people get better.
Promote good hygiene
As part of your discussion about the virus, spend time teaching your kids how to properly wash their hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds and how to use a tissue to cover a cough or sneeze.
Don’t induce panic
While you may have your own anxieties about how to adapt to the changes of a global pandemic, it’s vital that you stay calm, cool, and collected around your kids. Watch what you say and how you’re saying it if your children are at home, even if they aren’t in the room.
Turn off the news
As much as possible, turn off the news when your kids are around. Check for updates online or on the news during naptime or in another room.
Help them engage
While it can be difficult to keep older children off social media, make yourself available to do more offline activities like puzzles, board games, and watching movies. You also need to be ready to discuss the many rumors and inaccuracies floating around social media and the internet.
Get out into the fresh air
While many parks and public locations are closed to the public, there are still many things you can do to get your child up and out of the house. Fresh air is good for physical and mental health. Take at least 30 minutes every day to take a walk, hike a trail, or play a game of catch in the yard.
Follow protocol for illness
If your child is showing potential signs of the coronavirus or illness, contact our office immediately. Our partnerships with Labcorp and Quest allows us to test for the virus in office. In order to ensure the safety of our other patients and staff members, you will be prompted to check-in from your vehicle. A staff member will come and escort you to the exam room in order to ensure minimal contact with anyone else in the office. You and your child will also be provided masks as you are being escorted.
It’s also important that you don’t panic if your child develops a fever or cough and to take steps to keep your child away from other family members, especially the elderly and those who are immunocompromised.
If you have any questions about your child’s health, contact us by phone at (863) 201-8949 or request an appointment online.