Brought to you by Carebridge
Talking with children
As public conversations around coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increase, children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill with COVID19. Parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. CDC has created guidance to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.
Remain calm and reassuring: Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.
Make yourself available to listen and to talk: Make time to talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions.
Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma: Remember that viruses can make anyone sick, regardless of a person’s race or ethnicity. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19.
Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online: Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.
Provide information that is honest and accurate: Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child. Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.
Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs:
- Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick.
- Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.
- Discuss any new actions that may be taken related to school to help protect children and school staff. (e.g.,distance learning programs at home, cancellation of events and activities).
- Get children into a handwashing habit.
- Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- If soap and water are not available, teach them to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol.
- COVID-19 is the short name for “coronavirus disease 2019.” It is a new virus. Doctors and scientists are still learning about it.
- Recently, this virus has made a lot of people sick. Scientists and doctors think that most people will be ok, especially kids, but some people might get pretty sick.
- Doctors and health experts are working hard to help people stay healthy.
You can practice healthy habits to help protect against the spread of COVID-19:
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you sneeze or cough into a tissue, throw it in the trash right away.
- Keep your hands out of your mouth, nose, and eyes. This will help keep germs out of your body.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Follow these five steps—wet, lather (make bubbles), scrub (rub together), rinse and dry. You can sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
- If you don’t have soap and water, have an adult help you use a special hand cleaner. Keep things clean. Older children can help adults at home and school clean the things we touch the most, like desks, doorknobs, light switches, and remote controls. (Note for adults: you can find more information about cleaning and disinfecting on CDC’s website.)
Activities for children
The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for families across the country. As more and more schools close, requiring school-age children to remain at home in an effort to promote self-distancing, parents are looking for ways to maintain their responsibilities while supporting the educational needs and development of those in their care. Many schools have provided distance-learning programs and resources to help students continue their education while at home. Parents are encouraged to check the information provided by local school districts to determine what steps should be taken to stay on top of their children’s education.
For those parents who are looking for extra information, activities, programs, and social-emotional learning (SEL) resources, Carebridge has prepared a list of programs and courses available from online sources. Some of these recommendations are paid programs for those parents looking to invest in more long-term support.
- Harper At Home: Free activities for young readers, parents filling in for teachers, and educators looking for learning-related programs (provided by HarperCollins Publishers)
- Brainfuse Online Tutoring and More: Free learning support resources for K-12 learners (provided by the New York Public Library)
- PBS KIDS Daily: Sign up for a free daily newsletter of activities to help children stay active and keep on learning at home
- Science News for Students: A free collection of science-focused resources and experiments to turn your home into a fun and educational laboratory space
- Online Museum Tours: Free virtual trips to famous artworks and artifacts from around the globe
- Virtual Field Trips: Free videos and cams of animal habitats, famous locations, and unique areas