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Caregivers can be helpful to children, if they are prepared. Fear about coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause scary feelings in adults and children. Here's how you can calm your family.
USE THE 3 C’s
- Help your child stay healthy. Teach them to use their “germ buster” powers: washing hands often, not touching their face, coughing or sneezing into a tissue or elbow and staying home. Make sure your child is getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Take time to deal with your own feelings. Be kind to yourself and reach out to family, friends, religious or community leaders to get support.
- Be calm and comforting. Focus on helping your child feel safe. Listen to them. Answer their questions. Share honest information that’s right for their age.
- Help kids talk, write or draw how they are feeling when they are ready.
- Keep everyday routines and fun activities in place to reduce stress. Keep the same time for sleeping, meals,
- Stay in touch with friends and family on the phone, online or by writing letters and drawing pictures. Be creative while staying at home.
What are the signs of stress?
- Young children: afraid to be alone, bed wetting, bad dreams, crankiness & temper tantrums
- School-age children: easily upset or angry, bad dreams, wanting to be near caregivers & trouble staying focused
- Teens: changes in sleep or eating, arguing with friends or family & wanting to be left alone
- LGBTQ youth: In addition to above, LGBTQ youth are often faced with increased feelings of anxiety, depression and poor health outcomes. Staying at home might cause LGBTQ youth to be lonelier than other youth.
- Children with special needs or disabilities: worry and anger from having less control over daily well-being
- Adults: changes in sleep or eating, worsening of health problems, drinking more alcohol, smoking more, using
Where to get help?
- Delaware Valley
PA Crisis Hotline: (877) 724-3258; NJ Crisis Hotline: (877) 652-7624
People’s Place: (302) 422-8033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
DE Division of Public Health Call Center: (866) 408-1899
FL Department of Health Call Center: 1-866-779-6121
Crisis Counselor text HOME to 741741
Disaster Distress Hotline: (800) 985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
Keeping Kids Busy (video)
National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233 and TTY (800) 787-3224
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: (800) 273-TALK (8255)
Talking to Your Kids About COVID-19 (video)
Trevor Project’s TrevorLifeline: (866) 488-7386, via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help or texting START to 678678
To find out more about COVID-19 in English or Spanish, visit Kidshealth.org