Children and the current situation: 10 practical tips.
The situation that we have been experiencing in recent weeks is an emergency that involves everyone, from adults to children. Oh yes, because even the little ones feel confused, sometimes afraid and bewildered by this sudden change of everyday routine.
Mum and dad are at home all day, kindergarten and nursery are closed, I can't see my grandparents or my friends, I'm always at home and we don't go to the park anymore. Why?
Even if children are small, the global emergency that is changing our lifestyle can affect them too. They need to be protected in terms of health and prevention, but also from the behavioural and psychological consequences of this situation.
So here are 10 practical tips for helping your little one to understand a little more about Coronavirus and how to prevent it with a few simple rules.
- Mum, what is Coronavirus? Children need to understand what is going on around them. Try to talk to your children about the current situation but with a positive attitude. Tell them about it through a story or with drawings or watch a suitable online video about it.
- Let's play at washing our hands. The most important advice, for young and old, is to wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds at a time. But how can you persuade your little ones to do this?Turn it into a game. For example, teach them to sing "Happy Birthday" twice while they are washing their hands
- How should we cough or sneeze? Teach your little one to sneeze into the inside of their elbow and not onto their hands. How? For example, you could tell them it's a new dance step!
- Only use paper tissues. Make sure your little one only blows their nose into a paper tissue, but they must not keep the used tissues in their pockets or leave them hanging around the house. Once used, they must go straight into the bin!
- The importance of sunshine. Try to expose your children to the sunshine, letting them play on the balcony or in the garden or letting as much sunlight as possible into the home and airing rooms frequently. Vitamin D is important for little ones even in a situation like this, when we all have to stay at home.
- Make sure toys and dummies are always sterilised. Little ones explore the world using their mouths. You can't stop them from doing this but always remember to frequently sanitise anything that your little ones might put into their mouths.
- A home gym. Right now, your little one is learning to move, and tale their first steps, try to encourage them by using the home as a "gym" and helping them with their physical movements.
- When will I see my friends, my granny and grandpa or my cousins again? Young children need reassurance in a situation like this. Explain to your children that their friends and cousins are all at home with their mums and dads but that you will be able to play together again soon. If possible and with slightly older children, organise video calls with their friends.
- Barefoot at home. If you have a garden and you can let your little one play outside, remember that they must take off outdoor shoes when they come in. And remember to sanitise the soles of the shoes and let them air for a while.
- Keep the mind active. Even if your little one is home from nursery, they mustn't lose the skills they have learned. Make sure you try and keep the children occupied, with drawings or simple activities which they have already done with their teachers.
And what about you parents, what strategies are you adopting so you can take extra special care of your little ones?