Because COVID-19 is such a new virus, there’s still a lot for us to learn about it. From what we know right now, children do not seem to be at a higher risk for catching it. While there have been cases of kids and babies testing positive for COVID-19, adults make up the majority of the known cases. Here’s what you need to know about COVID-19 and your children.
Look Out for Mild Symptoms
The symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar in both children and adults, but children seem to show milder symptoms in general. Reported symptoms include:
- Runny nose
While in general, children don’t seem to be at a higher risk, some children could be if they have underlying medical conditions or special healthcare needs.
How to Protect Your Children from COVID-19
You should be taking every precaution possible to stay healthy and keep those around you healthy, and you need to pass these habits on to your children. Habits to be practicing include:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water, or alcohol-based sanitizer
- Avoiding people who are sick, coughing, or sneezing
- Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces regularly
- Hard-backed chairs
- Light switches
- Washing other frequently touched items such as bedding and plush toys
- If possible, wash using the warmest possible water and make sure you dry the items completely
Practice Social Distancing
Children shouldn’t be having in-person playdates with children from other households. Consider helping your kids have phone calls or video chats with their friends instead! You should also not bring your children into contact with older adults or people with serious underlying medical conditions. Now is not the time to visit the grandparents!
Talking to Your Kids About COVID-19
It can be difficult talking to your kids about serious topics, especially ones we never expected to have to explain! Here are some tips to help.
When you’re explaining things to your kid or kids, make sure you stay calm and reassuring. Children react to what you say, but they also react to how you say it. They’ll pick up on cues from conversations you have with them—and with others—so be aware of how you sound.
Make sure your children know they can come to you if they have questions. Make time to sit down and talk things through with them—this is a scary time for them, too!
Avoid Certain Language
Make sure you’re avoiding any kind of language that might blame others or create a stigma. Viruses can make anyone sick, regardless of a person’s race, ethnicity, gender, etc. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19.
Be aware of what your children could be seeing on TV, online, or hearing on the radio. Too much information on this topic can lead to anxiety and worry—that goes for you, too!
Make sure you’re giving your children truthful information, as long as it’s appropriate for their age and developmental stage. You can talk to your children about how some stories they hear might not be true.
Talk to your kids about how they can do their part in reducing the spread of germs! Odds are, your children will want to do what they can. Teach them healthy habits that will help them, their friends, and the rest of their family.
For more COVID-19 information and all things maternity, check out the rest of our blogs—and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out.