Speak reassuringly and clearly to children about the concerns and why there are more rules than normal. Speak with the children about why it is important that they follow the rules and protect themselves and others.
Explain to them that most people who become infected with the coronavirus will only experience mild symptoms before recovering. If someone is old or already ill, that it can become serious. We have a good health service and talented healthcare personnel who help people get well again.
If children are slightly older, then you can watch the children’s news together and talk after the programme.
Washing of hands
A good rule is to ensure that children wash their hands every time they enter or leave the home and before meals.
The washing of hands correctly takes between 45-60 seconds, i.e. wash hands with soap for approximately 15-20 seconds and then rinse thoroughly until all of the soap has been rinsed off and then dry the hands.
Some children have sensitive skin and therefore it is important that you pay attention to mild routines when it comes to frequent washing.
Frequent washing of the hands will dry the skin. Children should therefore use a moisturiser cream often, ideally and if possible, after they have washed their hands, especially if the child already has dry hands.
- Wash hands in water that is warm but not too warm.
- Hands must be wet before using the soap.
- Rinse hands thoroughly so that there is no soap remaining on them (with many children there tends to be soap residue on the back of their hands).
- Dry hands after washing them.
- Use an unperfumed, thick moisturiser cream to avoid hands from drying out.
If you are unsure about how much you should correct your child when e.g. they pick their nose, place fingers in mouth etc., then focus on the general advice relating to the washing of hands and coughing/sneezing into the elbow.
I have the coronavirus and cannot take care of my child. What do I do?
Get as much help as possible from your friends and family or from others willing to help.
My child is showing symptoms of the coronavirus. How do we talk about it?
It is important that you talk about the worries that it can cause. Most persons who are infected will experience mild symptoms before they recover. It is mostly the elderly and people who are chronically ill who experience more serious symptoms.
Can children infect others even though they appear to be healthy?
Yes. However, the more symptoms you have, the more infectious you are.
Some useful articles and websites:
www.unicef.org How to talk about the coronavirus with your child
What parents need to know: How can you protect yourself and your children
For teachers, kindergarten teachers, relating to speaking with children: Tips for age-appropriate conversations with children that reassure and protect them
Advice relating to washing of hands: You can protect yourself and your loved ones by washing your hands
If a child is to use a face mask, it is important that the child understands how to wear it correctly. It is important that the face mask is not overly loose on the child’s face and that the child can take the face mask off and put it on. Children of school age typically can do this.
Children under 12 years of age do not generally have to wear face masks.
You can help toddlers, who cannot use face masks by keeping their hands clean and paying attention to any signs of COVID-19 symptoms.