Advice for Parents/Carers if your Child has Worries about the Coronavirus
- Accurate Information:Follow the latest advice given to you by your child’s school and by the NHS (nhs.uk/coronavirus) and Gov websites (gov.uk/guidance/cornonavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public). Ensure your child has age-appropriate understanding of the virus and of what they can do to try to stay healthy and avoid spreading illness.
Talking together: Have conversations with your child so they can let you know what they understand and how they feel about the virus and the changes they have noticed around them. Check they don’t have any misconceptions which are increasing their anxiety. Give them the opportunity to ask you questions. It is ok for you to answer ‘We don’t know that yet’ or ‘I can’t tell you that now, but when I can, I will.’ This shows we can manage uncertainty.
Monitor their use of social media/news: At this time, there is a lot of information on the news and on social media about coronavirus. Children and young people can be overwhelmed by this amount of coverage. Make sure that your child knows what they need to know, but try to moderate how much exposure they have to media and news.
Maintaining Routine (where possible): With the cancellation of groups and usual activities, your child’s normal routine may be considerably disrupted; we know this can have a significant impact on emotions and behaviour. Try to maintain as much normal routine and expectations as possible. Encourage them to keep up with hobbies and homework as usual. When planned activities have been cancelled, it may help to have suggestions of alternative things to do, or do a positive activity together.
Be calm and reassuring: If you seem very worried, your child’s anxiety may rise too. Children look to adults for guidance in how to behave in stressful situations. Be aware of the conversations they may overhear adults around them having as these will strongly influence their feelings and views. Model positive preventative measures and remain calm and reassuring. Remind them that if they have concerns, they can talk to a trusted adult.