With everything going on right now concerning COVID-19 there is more on our minds. Thoughts on how we will deal with taking care of ourselves and our families always at the forefront of our minds.
We are also in a constant stream of news programs and internet info keeping us up to date with the latest on this pandemic.
It is very important to remember that those youngest among us, our children, hear and see everything.
They are discussing COVID-19 or coronavirus, on the playgrounds and in the classrooms everyday. Our children are scared and unfortunately they do not really know what of.
They do not have our intellect as well as our capacity for comprehending the complexities of what exactly we are dealing with. If we are honest, the truth is, we do not even know the full picture just yet.
Talking to your kids might seem like a lot but, it is very important. Here are some basic things to remember…
- Know that they are probably already talking about this at school so if they bring it up, don’t shut it down. Be open to the discussion.
- Use terms that they will understand. Kids have a much simpler language than we do. Use words they are comfortable with.
- Answer as many questions as you can but BE HONEST if you do not know the answer. Tell them you will ask a health care professional or find the answer another way.
- Make sure to only tell them the truth with accurate facts. Don’t try and sugar coat what is happening because you think it will make them feel better. This could cause them to stop talking to you about it.
- Open communication is best! Always. Let them know they can come to you with whatever fears or anxieties they may be experiencing.
Above all you are their parent and they trust and love you. They might be anxious or scared so just try and reassure them the best you can. We cannot let the news media and internet get the best of us.
Remembering how to take care of ourselves and our families in easy terms as well as some extra steps is best.
The ways to keep from getting sick are basic, you’ve heard them a hundred times:
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water
- Do not touch your face
- Stay away from sick people
- If you have to be around them make sure you wash more than normal
- Keep your immunity up with eating right and taking good care of yourself.
- If you have a cough, cover it with your elbow
- Sanitize your surfaces, door knobs, keyboards and work equipment, steering wheel of your car, phone, hands, etc, each and every day
Now we know how the CDC recommends to prevent from getting sick. What do we do if god forbid that happens we do end up getting sick? What is our back up plan for work, school, child care, etc?
My best advice is to start making plans for that eventuality now. Based on the trajectory of this illness and the way the government is responding to COVID-19 so far, I would say shut downs to schools, offices, and other facilities is likely.
Come up with a child care plan now. Getting out in front of it is always best! Better to have a plan and not need it than not have one and be stuck.
- Talk to your Childs daycare, preschool, school teacher, etc to see what their absence policy is for illness in wake of the COVID-19 outbreak
- Inquire about what their sanitation policy is, if they have not already made it clear. A lot of school districts have already put updates on their websites.
- Speak with your employer about work from home options, if that is an option for you.
- Speak with your employer about what the plan is if the business where to be effected by a shut down. What are the risks, plans in place, child care considerations?
- Talk to your friends, family and neighbors who might be able to assist you in case of emergency, if you cannot stay home and your kids cannot go to school.
- Make a list of the top 5-10 options for you now so there is no question when and if that does happen.
- A great idea is getting together with other moms in your similar situation and taking turns watching each others kids (as long as no one is sick) so the others can work. Community help is always good.
Remember that as much as we want to stay on top of what is happening in the news we do need to take breaks from it all for our mental health. Our children definitely need this break.
Turn off the tv, social media, phone, whatever and let it settle for a while. Being in a constant cycle of discussion can always make something like COVID-19 seem much more threatening than it may actually be.
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