With the coronavirus or COVID-19 spreading around the world, including the Philippines, we had to implement community quarantines in Luzon. Children with their families are on strict home quarantine and classes were also suspended until April 12.
Surely, children will have questions about what’s going on around them. So here are some tips on how you can explain the coronavirus and our current situation to your children without getting them worried or scared:
1. Don’t panic.
COVID-19 becoming a pandemic can really be alarming for everyone, but it is advised to remain calm during these times. A sound mind can help us make better and informed decisions both for you and your children.
Explain to your child that the virus is usually not life-threatening for healthy people and there are precautions that you can apply to avoid getting infected and spreading the virus.
2. Reassure with age-appropriate information.
Let your children know that their feelings matter and that you take their worries and fears seriously. But do reassure them that the situation can be handled. Explain to your children, in a way that is suitable for their age, how they could get infected by the virus and how you can protect yourself from it. (Know more about COVID-19 transmission and protection here: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/coronavirus-questions-answers.html?WT.ac=p-ra)
3. Teach hand washing and other hygiene measures.
Proper handwashing can save lives! With 5 simple steps (wet, lather, scrub, rinse, dry) while singing the Happy Birthday song twice, you can prevent the spread of the virus. Other hygiene measures you can teach your child are coughing and sneezing in the bent elbows or in a handkerchief and avoiding direct contact with people who cough or sneeze.
4. Get information from reputable sources.
Fake news spread rapidly all over the internet. With all these bombarding and usually exaggerated information, trust only media that is known for presenting accurate information. So that you may share correct information to your child without creating panic and fear.
5. Be a role model.
Children learn from their parent’s behavior. Model good hygiene and good use of media to be constantly and correctly informed. Always be a good example to your children in dealing with difficult situations like this global health emergency.
You can apply all these tips in other situations, too. Just remember to remain calm and be informed always. Stay safe and healthy, SOS friends!