Parent Survival Guide: Calming kids coronavirus fears

VIDEO: Parent Survival Guide: Calming kids coronavirus fears

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Inderia Washington-Saunders works around kids on a daily basis at a pediatricians office.

She’s also mother to one year old Lyric.

Washington-Saunders says even though she stays up to date with information surrounding the coronavirus, she remains vigilant but also calm.

“We go to the park and she picks up everything so now I have to be extra cautious,” says Washington-Saunders.

For older kids who can actually understand what’s going on Dr. Douglas Holzman with the pediatric division of Summerville Medical Center says it’s important to insure kids don’t worry unnecessarily.

“Make sure that they see you’re not panicking and answer questions and open up dialogue that’s the important thing,” he said.

Holtzman says it’s important to talk to your child on their level with age appropriate terms they can understand.

“Answer questions and open up a dialogue and say,'Do you have any questions? What are you worried about? What do your classmates say?'” says Holtzman.

Dr. Tory Caudle with Sweetgrass Pediatrics says in addition to reassuring your child about the coronavirus, she says let kids know that the virus is rare for kids, and it’s a good time to let them know how you as a family are staying safe and being prepared.

Also talk to them as to why their regular routine like going to school is now being adjusted.

“Even if kids are not at risk and they are a protected population they spread germs and we would rather be safe than sorry. At school they spread germs and they could bring that back home to parents and grandparents that are high risk,” says Caudle.

Caudle says kids feed off how you as a parent react and if they sense fear in you it can add extra stress for them.

She says it’s important to reassure them and it’s also an opportunity to reiterate the importance of them washing their hands. She says go a few steps further than just washing for 20 seconds.

Go with the CDC guidelines of making sure to clean under your nails and behind your hands and wash up to your wrist .

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