Since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first reported in China in December 2019, many countries have now reported cases of infection, affecting people of all ages from different nationalities. This pandemic is having an adverse effect on many aspects of our life - everything from travel restrictions to shopping habits, even the closure of schools.
As the situation grows seemingly worse, the hysteria surrounding this outbreak is causing great anxiety and angst to people everywhere, especially parents. Although children are considered to be in a lower risk category, this does not protect them from being exposed to news reports on television, radio or social media. As a parent it is important to reassure your child, dispel any myths or untruths, and help them feel informed, allowing them to focus more on positive messages.
Parents need to involve children in planning and preparedness at home, assigning jobs and roles and teaching them ways to look after themselves. Having this sense of purpose and control can help alleviate their fears. However, despite your best efforts, some children may still present with anxiety issues. Knowing what to look for will help parents provide them with the support they need.
If you do have any concerns or questions regarding the Coronavirus COVID-19, we recommend you contact your medical practitioner or phone the dedicated hotline:
AUSTRALIA: 1800 020 080
“Parents shouldn’t avoid talking about the coronavirus. Not talking about something can actually make young people worry more. Take the opportunity to convey the facts and set the emotional tone. Help your children feel informed and reassured.”
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg