Family Resources during COVID-19
Discover resources and advice during this uncertain time
As we continue to follow the unfolding COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, our focus is the safety and well-being of all youth and families in our communities. We will continue to provide programs and services to youth and families, and ensure that families are aware of important information and strategies to reduce stress and anxieties during this crisis.
It is important to give yourself grace during this period. It is okay to fumble through this situation as we all learn to navigate these unprecedented times together. Below are resources that will help you guide your family and youth through this situation and create a plan of action together.
Being prepared is one of the best ways to lessen the impact of an infectious disease outbreak like COVID-19, on your family. The CDC recommends contacting a healthcare provider for medical advice if you think you or your children have been exposed or have had any symptoms.
The symptoms of the coronavirus are similar in children and adults and can be mild or severe. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. According to the CDC, children do not seem to be at higher risk of getting the coronavirus, although some children and infants have been reported as positive with the virus. Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions such as lung disease, diabetes, or suppressed immune systems are at risk of contracting the virus and producing more severe symptoms.
The pandemic has disrupted all of our lives, including children’s day-to-day schedules, such as in-school attendance and extracurricular activities. Do not keep children in the dark, it is especially important to have honest conversations with them about the events that are disrupting their normal life. Even if your family is prepared, this outbreak can be very stressful. To help your family cope with this stress, we’ve provided additional information below to help facilitate conversations with your family.
Here are a few tips when talking to youth about the coronavirus:
- Remain calm and reassuring;
- Make yourself available to listen and to talk;
- Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma;
- Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio or online;
- Provide information that is honest and accurate;
- Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs;
- Limit television viewing or access to information through social media;
- Try to avoid watching or listening to information that might be upsetting when your children are present.
There are also resources online that can help comfort children. National Public Radio (NPR) has created a comic to help parents talk about the virus. This comic helps answer all the questions kids might have about the virus without the scientific jargon and with illustrations by Malaka Gharib.
Managing stress and anxiety can be a challenge, especially during this time. This article on the CDC website can give you the tools to take care of your mental health, and in turn, help your families. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has also provided a comprehensive resource guide to help families cope in times of distress. Together we can help our community ease the stress during this difficult time.
Our attention to families is our number one priority. We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation closely and are taking precautionary measures to ensure everyone’s safety.