At the moment, there are many changes happening for families and their children. Whilst some children are back at school or in childcare settings, lots of children are still being cared for at home by their parents or carers.
Here are some tips for helping your child cope with the changes:
Your child will know that things are different and may need support in coping with these changes. Make sure you keep to a routine as much as possible, getting up and ready at the same time, eating at regular times and having a regular bedtime will help your child feel secure.
If your child asks you about the virus, answer the question at their level of understanding, being careful not to overwhelm them or make them worry. Also remember to fact check your information, making sure what you tell them is correct. This is especially true if you have seen a particular piece of information on social media.
It’s important to reassure your child that what they’re feeling is okay. You can explain that it’s okay to feel worried or sad, and that you are there to listen and give them the comfort they need.
Children can become more anxious when adults around them are, so keep an eye on your own mental health and seek help and support for yourself if your own feelings become overwhelming.
It’s useful to talk about the things that we can all do to stay safe, such as:
- If you or your child coughs or sneezes, do this into a tissue and bin it, or sneeze into your elbow
- Washing hands regularly, especially after using the toilet, being outside, coughing or sneezing or blowing your nose. Encourage your child to wash their hands for 20 seconds – you could sing happy birthday
- Try not to touch your face, as this is a way for the virus to enter the body
Please remember to follow the government guidelines around keeping yourself and your family safe during the COVID 19 outbreak. The very latest advice and information can be found here.
Coronavirus- A book for children
The Gruffalo illustrator, Axel Scheffler, has worked with consultant Professor Graham Medley, two head teachers and a psychologist to make a book for children about coronavirus, ensuring it got the messages right, answers questions about quarantine, how you can catch the virus and what happens if you get ill.
- Institute of Health Visiting- Parenting Through Coronavirus
- GOV.UK- Supporting children’s mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
- YoungMinds- Talking to your child about coronavirus
- NSPCC- Talking to a child worried about coronavirus
- University Hospitals Southampton NHSFT- Child friendly poster explaining COVID-19
- Nurse Dotty Books- Dave the Dog is worried about coronavirus
- My hero is you- Storybook for children about COVID-19
- Dr Ranj Podcast: A kid’s guide to coronavirus
- Young Scot: Resources, activities and information about coronavirus