Supporting Our Children during the Covid 19 Outbreak
March 22, 2020
Supporting Our Children During The COVID-19 Outbreak
We are experiencing extraordinary events due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Our lives have been turned upside down. I have been a pediatrician for over 20 years and would like to offer some ways to help our children cope with these disrupting events.
Many of the things that give our lives order have changed. Schools are closed, daycare centers are closed, all activities and sports are suspended, restaurants and movie theaters are closed. Much of our daily life and routine is based on these activities. These activities form much of our social support. Our sense of security in the world is based on knowing what will happen next. In these times of uncertainty establishing routines for our children can be very comforting and help them cope. Keep set bedtimes and wake up times, set meal times. With schools closed, have a set time for school work, have a set time for physical activity.
Children are great at sensing parental worry. I like to talk with kids and parents about what jobs we all have in families. The job of the kids is to learn and grow up. The job of the parents is to take care of the kids and keep them safe. When children start to express worries about safety, let them know that is your job as the parent and you will take care of it.
We are being inundated with information at this time. Much of it is not accurate. Please look to the CDC and AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) websites as well as Healthykids.org for reliable information. Consider limiting television and electronic access to children so they don’t become overwhelmed by this information. Allow children to ask questions and check in with them to ask how they are feeling about all of this.
Please call our office if you feel you need more help or support with this. I am able to have telemedicine visits with families to discuss concerns and develop strategies to help children cope.