This is tip one in a series from pediatrician Dr. Ray Fabius for families on maintaining health and wellness at home or on the front lines. Find more tips and actionable advice on our Dr. Ray resource page.
A tip for families on managing children’s anxiety about coronavirus
During this unnerving time, it’s important to emphasize to children that we are all heroes in this—every adult and every child! Nonessential workers who are staying home with family and keeping their distance from others are actually preventing many people from becoming ill, as well as themselves.
Emphasize the positive outcomes. Some scientists believe that just by staying home we may be able to save a million lives. We’re doing this so not too many people get sick all at once. We can slow down the virus, which can only travel from person to person.
If we keep our distance and wash our hands, less people will get sick. That means the doctors and nurses will be able to take care of those that do. Then everyone can get over this virus safely. Every time you wash your hands, every time you cough into your elbow, every time you wipe down a counter, every time you keep your distance from others, you are saving lives! And that’s pretty cool. You are a superhero!
Educational activities to help children understand
- Give out stickers or points to your child(ren) if they wash their hands—when they wake up, before each meal, when they go to bed—at least 5 times a day. When they get enough points or stickers, give them a prize!
- Put a dollar into a jar for each day everyone stays healthy at home for a chance to have a celebratory dinner when this health emergency is over. Give children a chance to decide where this great meal will be. Reconsider and review the choices weekly.
- Talk about real-life superheroes and how they’re different from superheroes in movies and comics—and just as super! How are the safe actions you’re taking every day helping to save a million lives?
Resources to learn more about this topic