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Explaining COVID19 to Kids

Posted on: April 6th, 2020
Virus enlarged picture of Corona Virus

For the first time in many of our lives, our world has been completely disrupted due to the coronavirus, affecting the lives of billions of people in their work, school, livelihoods, relationships, and health.

Its impact is still underway as scientists learn more about the virus, its symptoms, and how it manifests. Projected data about the virus have increased social distancing measures and brought the needs of our health care workers to the forefront.

Parents have felt extraordinary stress and anxiety due to loss of income, concern about elderly relatives, themselves, or children. Our world is in survival-mode at the grocery stores and pharmacies as families prepare to hunker down for what seems to be many months of unknown solitude.

Grief and loss are forthcoming realities for many families in the days ahead.
Our children also feel this stress, though may show it in different ways. They may talk more, talk less, be more active, or withdrawn. Many have questions or misunderstandings about the virus. In the podcast, The Daily,
children provide their questions and are answered by a virus expert. You can check this link out below.

Another great resource for explaining the COVID19 response for parents is through the Gil Institute.

Here are some general considerations to help children during this time:

  • Reassure children. Allow them to comfort themselves (this is not a time to remove stuffed animals, blankets, or soothing objects).
  • Stick to routines as much as possible.
  • Encourage daily exercise and physical activity.
  • Check-in daily with your child.
  • Practice positive coping skills and pleasurable activities.
  • Encourage connection with others virtually to maintain social distancing.
  • Practice good hygiene.

I have recently moved my practice to Telehealth in order to continue to support clients during this time. Kids are enjoying teleplay, parents are able to check-in about their children, and clients continue to have a connection outside the home for mental health care. Insurance companies are also responding by making this outlet possible for families, and in some instances waiving copays and deductibles so that more can access care. If you or your child require additional care during this time, please contact me at SHCS.