How to Educate Your Kids about Corona Virus
Kids are curious little creatures. They listen to the word "Corona Virus" being said a million times over the TV; they hear you talk about it; they know they are not going to school or meeting their friends, or going to the play area because of this nasty virus. They see you hoarding breads and tomato cans and a year supply of oil! The number of times they used to wash their hands in a week - they are now made to do that in a day!
So, what do they think about it, and how to make sure the information they are processing inside their innocent minds is correct? How can we help them emotionally in times when we too are a bit uncertain?
‘Social distancing’ and ‘self-quarantine’ are the buzzword these days, no matter who you speak to or wherever you get your news from, leading to closure of all public places, including schools and daycares.
Educating kids about the Corona Virus
Talk to your kids about the Corona Virus. Here's how:
- It is important to listen to your kids and address their anxiety arising from all the news they are processing at school, online or through friends. It is your job as a responsible parent to correct their perceptions and give them verified and authenticated facts.
- Give them assurances that a lot of people (within their family, their community and country generally) are working day and night to control the situation and are prepared to address the concerns and problems of those infected by the Corona virus.
- Kids can be upset and psychologically drained out if they are exposed to news in the house 24/7. Make it a point to give them some space and a ‘break’ from the negativity that this Covid-19 entails.
- Do not wait for your kids to ask for a hug or a cuddle (regardless of their age). In times like these, they need these non-verbal assurances more than ever. Share stories, watch movies or spend time with them to calm them down (and yourself of course).
Corona virus is a pandemic now and has affected countries across the globe with national emergency being declared all over, causing a major disruption in our daily social, professional and personal lives.
There are growing concerns amongst the masses with each passing day. If you are a parent then it is compounded by the fact that your little ones may be exposed to this deadly and widespread virus, more than the others. Moreover, as of now, there is no vaccine available to counter Corona virus. Due to this particular vulnerability, parents need to be vigilant, proactive and wise in going all out to protect their children.
How can I protect my family?
There are certain well established precautionary habits or rituals that can be imparted to kids to protect them from Corona virus such as:
- social distancing, i.e. minimizing contact with people outside the immediate family, staying away from big gatherings or playdates, cutting down on social events and activities, limiting eating out or visiting public places such as playgrounds, trampoline parks or arcade gaming zones etc.;
- washing hands thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (20 seconds rub rule);
- not touching eyes, nose or mouth;
- avoid getting close to those who are already sick (with Covid19 or any other infectious disease);
- keeping distance from individuals outside the family who are not infected (ideally 2 metres);
- always use a tissue or hanker chief to sneeze and cough (and if not available handy then always into your sleeve);
- disinfecting objects and surfaces in and around the house which are frequently used (e.g. toys, tables, chairs, handrails, stair case, doorknobs, handles, light switches, toilets and sinks);
- connecting with their friends and family through social media, voice or video calls or texts as opposed to personal meet-ups;
- getting vaccinated for influenza/flu; and
- always pay heed to instructions given by your local public health body.
Some of these measures may sound draconian for kids but as parents you need to reinforce its importance in overcoming Corona virus. They need to be explained that this is only for short term and life does and will get back to normal for everyone. In this process, they are helping their community in saving lives!
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