Supporting Children During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, many parents and teachers are wondering how to talk to children about the impacts of an evolving virus in a way that will be reassuring and not make them more worried than they already may be. There are no “right” or “wrong” ways to talk with children about such public health emergencies. However, here are some suggestions one may find helpful:

As schools in South Florida decide whether to pursue in-person classes, virtual, or hybrid options for our children, it is best to provide them with a sense of stability. Consider low-risk activities that children can do inside the home that also provide them with a feeling of normalcy and calm. Make time to meditate, get crafty, or simply chat to further support their emotional health and creativity.

Educate them about how to minimize COVID-19 transmission when they are outside of the home. Parents and caretakers play a key role in teaching children to wash their hands. When adults lead by example and wash their hands consistently, children are likely to follow suit.

Take time to ask your child how they are experiencing this increase in alone time. Ask what role you can play in helping them stay socially connected.

Monitor for signs of stress or behavior changes. Consider that children and teens are diverse in their needs and might not respond to stress in the same manner. Watch for excessive worry or sadness, unhealthy eating or sleeping habits, and difficulty with attention or concentration.

Care Resource’s Behavioral Health Services Department hosts an online session called “The Parenting Program,” for caregivers of children up to 12 years old. These no-cost sessions are focused on developing a close relationship between parent and child based on strong communication and mutual respect, which are fundamental during this time. Every Wednesday at 3:30pm, parents can join licensed behavioral health therapists on Zoom to discuss how to praise their children, understand their feelings, and integrate self-care into parenting.

Make sure not to neglect additional health risks. This year, more than ever, back-to-school vaccinations are essential.

Following a telehealth visit with a Care Resource medical provider, an individual can access curbside vaccinations. In addition to vaccinations, the health center is offering back-to-school kits. Whether at school or at home, your little ones will be ready to learn this year.

In order to make a telehealth appointment, please call (305) 576-1234. Download the Zoom app to your Android or IOS device or visit Zoom.US from your computer. When it is time for the appointment, the provider will call you to provide the meeting ID number.

Care Resource’s medical providers, behavioral health therapists, and every member of the health center’s frontline staff are here for the community during these challenging times.

About Care Resource:

Care Resource is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization and a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with four locations in Midtown Miami, Little Havana, Miami Beach, and Fort Lauderdale. The health center provides comprehensive health and support services to address the full health care needs of South Florida’s pediatric, adolescent, and adult populations.

For more information, visit CareResource.org.