Helping children cope with stress during the coronavirus outbreak

Helping children cope with stress during the coronavirus outbreak

According to the World Health Organisation, children may respond to stress in different ways such as being more clingy, anxious, withdrawing, angry or agitated, bedwetting etc.  Respond to your child’s reactions in a supportive way, listen to their concerns and give them extra love and attention.

Children need adults’ love and attention during difficult times. Give them extra time and attention.  Remember to listen to your children, speak kindly and reasure them.  If possible, make opportunities for the child to play and relax.

Try and keep children close to their parents and family and avoid separating children and their caregivers to the extent possible. If separation occurs (e.g. hospitalization) ensure regular contact (e.g. via phone) and re-assurance.

Keep to regular routines and schedules as much as possible, or help create new ones in a new environment, including school/learning as well as time for safely playing and relaxing.

Provide facts about what has happened, explain what is going on now and give them clear information about how to reduce their risk of being infected by the disease in words that they can understand depending on their age.  This also includes providing information about what could happen in a re-assuring way (e.g. a family member and/or the child may start not feeling well and may have to go to the hospital for some time so doctors can help them feel better).

You can download a copy of the WHO flyer HERE.

Watch the Beyond Blue “Talking to kids about scary stuff in the news” video below:

Visit the Beyond Blue website here.

Download the Headspace coping with COVID-19 stress info sheet here.

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At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Image Source: World Health Organisation

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