With so much in the media about Coronavirus, we know many children are coming home from school feeling scared or worried, particularly if there’s been lots of hearsay going on in the playground!
Channel Mum’s psychologist in residence Emma Kenny is here to offer a little advice for talking to your kids about this virus, and also keeping panic at bay within the whole household.
What to do if your child is feeling worried
Emma Kenny says: “Remind your child that no matter how much they hear people talking about the Coronavirus, the reality is that even if they were unlucky enough it catch it, they would be ok.
"Reassure them that germs and viruses are a natural part of life and evidence this by bringing up any coughs and sniffles that they have had in the past as this anchors them into reality and dispels any myths that they have formed.
"If you want to empower your child to feel that they have some strategies that they can use, show them how to wash their hands thoroughly and remind them to cover their mouth when they cough and sneeze and this can be a useful reminder in health and wellness etiquette.
“The most important thing you can do for your child is to remind them that they can trust you and the information you are giving them, as this means that should they hear scary conversations in the playground, or on TV, they will be able to explore and diffuse these through communicating with you.”
How to keep you and your children safe from Coronavirus
- Wash your hands and their hands at least five times a day with soap and water or hand sanitiser.
- Sneeze and cough into a tissue and bin it. No tissue available? Teach your child to sneeze or cough into their elbow instead - NOT their hands
- Don’t share towels
- Open windows in your house and in your car to ventilate it
- Don’t touch doorknobs and handrails - use gloves or tissue paper
- Try not to touch your face
- Be careful in public toilets - avoid if you can but sanitise anything you do have to touch and wash hands straight away afterwards
- Avoid large gatherings
- Wear gloves in public and wash hand-held objects
- Stand a metre away from anyone who coughs or sneezes
- Worried about school or nursery? Speak to staff about the latest guidance