HEALTH FIRST: COVID-19 Isn’t Over and Neither Should the Conversation be Between Parent and Child

By  //  September 29, 2020

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To schedule a Virtual Visit, call 321-434-3131

It’s been months now, and there are still pressing questions surrounding COVID-19. As parents, we do our best with providing comfort and hope to our children. (Health First image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – It’s been months now, and there are still pressing questions surrounding COVID-19. As parents, we do our best with providing comfort and hope to our children.

But with COVID-19 ongoing, so too, are their concerns of going back to normal – or the carefree days of close human interaction and social distancing being nonexistent.

So how do we continue the conversation?

“As parents, we act as a guide to help children make sense of the world around them,” said Dr. Joseph Sin, Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center’s Inpatient Psychiatrist.

And as their guide, it’s important to help reassure children and help them to worry less. No question should be off-limits. Welcome all inquiries, no matter how serious or silly they might seem. The goal is to provide reliable and trustworthy information to help ease the anxiety that has the potential to be devastating to families and communities.

If you’re still unsure about how to address the public healthcare crisis with your child, begin with step one – the truth. The conversation should start with honesty regarding what COVID-19 is, how it spreads and what health officials are doing to keep us all safe.

Next should be what steps are important to keep all family members safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines some important everyday preventive actions.

Parents, these are tips to teach and reinforce with your child:

▪ Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
▪ Make sure everyone in your household wears a mask when in public and around people who don’t live in the same house
▪ Help your child stay active
▪ Make sure your child keeps at leave six feet away from others when in public and social settings

Comfort goes a long way when it comes to easing your child’s fear and anxiety during this time of uncertainty. Establish and encourage a safe and supportive environment, where they can feel embraced and loved.

“Follow their lead and let them discuss their thoughts and feelings, and when they do, it’s important to recognize and validate them,” Dr. Sin said. “Help them find ways to make decisions and have control in their schedule, but don’t forget to take time for yourself.”

We understand this is no easy task at times. It can be hard for some to accept or comprehend a public health emergency impacting our family, friends and loved ones.

Fortunately, our mental health experts are trained to provide support and coping strategies when dealing with stressful events. Our Health First COVID-19 stress support line is available free of charge, seven days a week. Call 321-434-7700.

And, parents, feel welcome to reach out. This could be a valuable resource in seeking help, guidance and peace of mind, and in return, can better help you and your child stay safe with a positive outlook on life.

CLICK HERE to schedule a virtual visit.

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