Talking to Children about COVID-19
There's a lot of news coverage about the outbreak of COVID-19 and it can be overwhelming for parents and frightening to kids. The American Academy of Paediatrics encourages parents and others who work closely with children to filter information and talk about it in a way that their child can understand. These tips can help:
- Simple reassurance. Remind children that researchers and doctors are learning as much as they can, as quickly as they can, about the virus and are taking steps to keep everyone safe.
- Give them control. It's also a great time to remind your children of what they can do to help – washing their hands often, coughing into a tissue or their sleeves, and getting enough sleep.
- Watch for signs of anxiety. Children may not have the words to express their worry, but you may see signs of it. They may get cranky, be more clingy, have trouble sleeping, or seem distracted. Keep the reassurance going and try to stick to your normal routines.
- Monitor their media. Keep young children away from frightening images they may see on TV, social media, computers, etc. For older children, talk together about what they are hearing on the news and correct any misinformation or rumours you may hear.
- Be a good role model. COVID-19 doesn't discriminate and neither should we. While COVID-19 started in Wuhan, China, it doesn't mean that having Asian ancestry – or any other ancestry – makes someone more susceptible to the virus or more contagious. Stigma and discrimination hurt everyone by creating fear or anger towards others. When you show empathy and support to those who are ill, your children will too.
There are a number of social stories and comic strips relating to COVID 19 available free online – please look at these first yourself and determine if they are suitable for your child as some are too complicated. If you need resources please do not hesitate to contact the team for same.
For children with ASD / young children:
For younger children:
Comic is also translated in Spanish, Chinese, Lithuanian, and Russian and in video format and Braille.
Also available in lots of languages.
For older children / teenagers:
Infographic on how Corona spreads and how to protect yourself.
Some Sources That Offer Free Online Teaching activities and Learning:
- https://www.gonoodle.com/ is a good website with dances and exercises your child will be familiar with from school to help with regulation and keeping up fitness levels.
- https://www.scoilnet.ie/ has curriculum resources for both primary and secondary school and is provided by the department of education.
- https://www.starfall.com/h/ Starfall is a website that has educational activities for all primary school levels.
- Jollyphonics – https://www.jollylearning.co.uk/– has a good resource bank of the songs and games. Also free on appstore.
- https://clubs-kids.scholastic.co.uk/ is a book publisher with some nice free games and reading activities
- https://www.twinkl.ie/resources has a good range of resources and activity sheets to print off to use with your children – it is divided up per class level.