Information and hype about Corona Virus is everywhere. It has reached mass hysteria and your child is probably very frightened and unsure what is going on. Read and apply the six strategies below to help your child feel safe with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Help your child understand what Corona Virus is, and how they can prevent the spread of COVID-19. Provide your child with the facts and help them to make informed choices about Corona Virus. Correct information helps alleviate any unnecessary anxieties and distress for your child.
Talk calmly with your child, focusing on positive messages.
Explain to your child that Corona Virus is like a flu, with a dry itchy cough, a fever and people might find it hard to breathe. Help them know that most people just get a mild case of Corona Virus and feel unwell. Remind your child about what happened when they had a cold or flu, and how they rested, took medicine and got better. The outbreak may be similar to this.
Only a very few people with other health issues get a stronger case of it. In most cases, this will not be your child.
Point out to your child that our medical teams have been working very hard to help people test for Corona Virus and help them if they get sick from it. The Doctors know what to do and they help sick people feel better.
Sometimes older people and people with other health issues may get COVID-19. They can be very sick, but the hospitals and medical staff try and help them too.
Help your child understand that not everyone who gets Corona Virus will die. In fact, only a very few amount of people get very sick from it.
Reassure them that if your child does get Corona Virus, the medical people will help them. They will feel unwell, but will get better. Your child does not need to worry.
Talk openly and honestly with your child about COVID-19. Ask them what they know, what is worrying them and what they think they can do to prevent it spreading. Answer their tricky questions. Remember to empower your child with correct information and facts.
Correctly washing their hands is a way your child can help protect themselves and others from getting sick. Do you know that using lots of soap, friction and singing "Happy Birthday" two times while washing your hands, is a GREAT way to stay healthy and stop the spread of germs. Even toddlers can sing that!
Inform your child that they can help prevent Corona Virus and make sure it doesn't spread. There are three ways your child can do this:
We all know that number 3 is hard for children to do. So make sure you remind them to wash their hands when you catch them picking their nose!! When they cough or touch their face, it is important to wash their hands again.
Your child will probably be using this protocol at school and should be familiar with it.
It is important to remind your child that Corona Virus does not only affect people of a particular race or from a particular country. Reassure them not to be frightened about being around people. They have their secret weapon to help them stay healthy - washing their hands, catching their coughs, and avoiding touching their face.
There are many people who are working hard to keep your child safe. It is helpful to make a list of people they know, so they can feel comfortable and not worry about COVID-19.
Finally, talk openly with your child about Corona Virus. Invite your child to talk with you. Answer those hard questions and concerns. Give them facts to expel their fears. Reassure them. You don't need to have all the answers, just journey alongside them. Use this opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your child.
And remember, above all else, WASH THOSE HANDS!!
Thanks to Malaka Gharib for creating the comics.
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