EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The spread of COVID-19 has left many ill, panicked, and unprepared for what’s next. The CDC anticipates more cases to arise, many of whom will be adults with children. To prepare you and your family for potential infection, check out the suggestions below.
Talk to your kids about COVID-19
It’s easy to feel helpless during a pandemic, but maintaining a sense of calm and understanding is paramount.
- Check-in with your emotions before talking to your kids. Children pick up on tone, body language, and facial expressions. Appearing relaxed will help your kids remain calm.
- Explain in a way they can understand. Some examples, “Many people are getting sick, and everyone can help by staying inside to make sure more people don’t get sick.”
- Explain why behaviors like hand-washing matter, and practice handwashing for 20 seconds while singing a silly song.
- Understand your children’s concerns are different from yours. While parents worry about food, income, and health, the concerns of children can range from when they will see their classmates again to whether a field trip will be missed. Encourage your kids to voice their concerns, and do your best to provide answers.
- Reassure them that you’re a family and that you’ll get through things together.
- Inspire them to remain calm and be more kind than usual.
- Let them know this is a time when the family must work together.
Prepare your kids in the event you get sick
With more and more confirmed cases of COVID-19 being announced, the risk of parents contracting the virus is a very real possibility. Prepare your kids to help take care of themselves in the event a parent or caregiver becomes ill.
- Have easy-to-prepare food available like dry cereal, canned soup, microwavable meals, and sandwich fixings. If you have food stocked, you can cook full meals that can be frozen and thawed later. You can also order easily-frozen items from restaurants.
- Make sure items like Nyquil, cough syrup, pain relievers/fever reducers are in the home but out of reach of children.
- Teach your kids how to safely use household cleaning items to help reduce the spread of infection.
- Stress the importance of cleanliness: handwashing several times a day, cleaning up after yourself, showering regularly.
- Ask for their cooperation.
- Make a list of instructions to follow in the event of an emergency. This should include phone numbers for emergency services and contacts.
- Have a bag or box of toys and activities prepared that will keep the kids quiet and entertained. Other activities include enlisting a friend or family member to read or lead activities via Facetime, Skype, or Zoom.
- Emphasize the importance of social distancing.
- Have access to the CDC website where you and your kids can check for new updates.
- Maintain connection at a distance by Facetiming, texting, etc. even if it’s to someone in the next room.