Dear Mesa Parents and Guardians,
We know that concerns over COVID-19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus, can make children and families anxious. We recognize that addressing your concerns requires more than just providing facts, it also involves that parents are better prepared to deal with the virus. We hope we can help.
It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If parents seem too worried, children’s anxiety may rise. That is why we recommend that you:
Consider limiting the amount of media exposure you get of the Coronavirus.
Monitor social media for the same.
Be aware that information designed for adults can cause worry, particularly in young children.
Engage your children with books. Sites like Scholastic have published lists of books that you can read with your children, for example. Or you may want to consider an audiobook or two.
Engage your children with games and other interesting activities instead. Get out all those old-fashioned board games or share an electronic game.
Watch old family videos or, if you have a printer, put together a new family album of photos. Connecting with happier times is always good for our mental health.
Stay in touch with your community via phone or internet. Consider setting up a community of friends and family, and a designated time to check-in with each other.
Make yourself available. Children will need extra attention from you and may want to talk about their concerns and questions. It is important that they know they have someone who will listen.
Create a daily schedule for your children and ask for their input. Include a time for breakfast, lunch, reading, watching television, academic activities, physical activities, and free time.
While we don’t know how the virus may affect our area, we do know that it is contagious, that the severity of illness can vary from person to person, and that there are steps we can take to prevent the spread of infection. Some useful recommendations include:
Put distance between yourself and other people. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Know how it spreads and that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
Take steps to protect yourself and clean your hands often.
Take steps to protect others. Stay home if you’re sick. Cover coughs and sneezes.