A few steps helping children feel safe and less fearful in this outbreak of COVID-19.
The ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, which embarked in Wuhan, China in Dec 2019 has been declared a pandemic by the WHO. The Coronavirus has sickened many across the globe. To date, there are 179 111 confirmed cases globally. There is a whole lot of hassle as everyone is searching for answers to these questions
- How long will this outbreak last?
- Can it be prevented and contained?
- Is there a treatment or not?
There are no clear answers to these common questions yet, which drive uncertainty in minds. However, adults can still have a mind-set to understand what is happening around them. What about innocent children? This wave of skepticism around, leaves parents reckoning how and what they should talk to them about COVID-19.
Experts advise staying informed, maintain perspective and be honest. A child’s emotion feeds a parents’ emotion. This makes it integral for adults, especially parents, to be informed about the latest news updates, so they can entertain questions driven by kids’ curious minds. However, parents must avoid falling into the anxiety trap about the pandemic situation.
Parents know their kids better, so tailor the approach based on their processing style. A few may have a super curious mindset, which means exposure to information will help them cope and some may get anxious with more information.
Parents must listen more than they talk to younger kids. Try to figure out if they feel afraid of the current situation. Try answering all the questions they have even if those questions feel a little sensitive.
Don’t be apprehensive to use words like death and dying. The more we hide or avoid, the more kids get confused. However, turning off the news when young kids are around would be a smart way.
Given, all the unknown about the COVID-19, parents must refrain from over-promising. Best practices suggest that parents must tell kids that they must do everything in their power to stay healthy. Over-promising is no-go; however, it is fine to comfort kids by reassuring that doctors across the globe are working to find solutions to keep people safe and healthy. And, those who are sick already, are taken good care of by doctors and nurses.
The most effective approach for kids of any age is to remind them of preventive measures, like
- hands hygiene of washing hands
- covering their coughs and sneezes via elbow
- use of antiseptic alcohol-based hand-rub, when hand wash is not possible.
- avoid touching face, again and again,
- the habit of drinking hot water
- keep a safe distance from others
These steps give the power to ward off the disease.
Even after adhering to all these tips and advice, some parents’ may observe that their kids are fearful and a little apprehensive about the COVID-19. Parents must not feel worried as it is a perfectly normal reaction expected of a kid. Best practices suggest keeping an eye on them.
But if you notice that fear is disturbing your kids’ sleeping patterns, you can seek help from mental health providers.