During the Circuit Breaker period, most parents have been adapting to new routines in an attempt to keep their children entertained and occupied while working from home. After having the June holidays brought forward, preschoolers and primary school students found themselves returning to school – to an entirely new environment.
For example, assigned seating areas, the compulsory wearing of masks, and alternating between home-based learning and going to school. Of course, practicing good sanitary habits are just as crucial for your children to stay healthy and safe. But as parents, what can we do to ensure that our children remain happy and healthy?
Talk to your child about COVID-19
If you feel worried about how they are taking the pandemic, why not start with their understanding instead? Ask them questions on what they know and if they have any concerns. From there, you can correct any misconceptions they have or clarify their uncertainties. And if you don’t know the answer to any of their questions, be honest about it.
Throughout the pandemic, talk to them frequently about how they’re coping and feeling. At the same time, keep your child up to date about COVID-19 while encouraging them to ask you if they have any questions!
If you’re wondering how exactly to approach the conversation, here is a guide for you to follow! Feel free to edit it accordingly, based on your child’s understanding:
- Definition: COVID-19 is a virus that can make you sick. Those with COVID-19 can experience cough, fever and trouble breathing! For some kids, they might not show any apparent symptoms or only mild signs like a runny nose.
- Why it’s contagious: The germs from COVID-19 can remain on your hands. That’s why, if you touch your nose, ears or mouth with uncleaned hands, the bacteria can easily enter your body. Since the virus is so tiny to the naked eye, it’s essential for you always to wash your hands with soap or use a hand-sanitiser to disinfect and stay clean! And if an infected person standing very near you coughs or sneezes without a mask on, then that can also spread the virus.
- Precautions: There’s much news surrounding COVID-19, and that’s because it’s an entirely new virus that we’ve never seen before. Thus, this why there are so many experts around the world doing their best to learn about the virus for us to be safe! In Singapore, one example is how it is a must to keep our masks on all the time when we’re out in public unless we’re eating or exercising.
Stay alert for any signs of COVID-19 in your child
A quick look up at the Ministry of Health website can illustrate the common signs of COVID-19 in adults, but it’s also important to know how the virus looks like in children. Some of the most telling symptoms are:
- Dry cough
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Abdominal pain
Unlike most adults, a substantial number of children won’t develop pneumonia. Instead, their symptoms are similar to typical childhood viral illnesses! Sometimes, they might not even have any signs indicating the virus.
But if your child is feeling unwell and experiences any of the symptoms mentioned above, you can talk to a virtual doctor in Singapore for an online consultation through our mobile app: MyCLNQ. And depending on the doctor’s diagnosis, you can immediately call for a private ambulance that is accompanied with medically-trained escorts for a seamless transfer to a nearby hospital or clinic.
Help them feel like they’re in control
Teach your child that their actions have consequences, but they have the power to control it. Explain to them that something as simple as washing their hands regularly helps curb the spread of viruses to others. Of course, if you lead by example, then they’re more likely to follow!
Keep in contact with loved ones
Encourage your children to reach out to their loved ones through phone or video calls. You can engage in old-school ways with handwritten letters, also known as snail mail! This way, they can unleash their creativity by drawing and writing.
Be sensitive to their emotions
During this unprecedented time, many adults may experience higher levels of anxiety and stress. Without you noticing, your children might be facing battles of their own. Since not all children respond to stress the same way, you can look out for increased feelings of sadness or worry, unhealthy eating and sleeping habits and if they’re facing difficulty concentrating.
Alleviate their worries by talking to them. Let them know that you’re always ready with your listening ears. By doing so, you’re encouraging them to verbalise their emotions. During this process, it allows them to reflect on their experiences.
Encourage them to stay active
With more pockets of free time, do you feel more motivated to workout rather than staying sedentary at home? Invite your kids with you! There are many videos on YouTube with workouts and yoga exercises that are both family-friendly and kid-friendly. Check out “Big W” and “Cosmic Kids Yoga” on YouTube, as you and your child stretch into a healthier lifestyle! This can also help to raise mood levels.
There’s plenty to be done. As parents, we must come up with a flexible routine that we’re comfortable with to facilitate the learning process in our children. However, caring for yourself is just as important! The stress and anxiety of the current pandemic can take its toll on you. Be aware of your feelings and turn to your loved ones for a listening ear or speak with a medical professional.
Through the accessibility of telehealth services through MyCLNQ, there’s no need to go through the hassle of scheduling an appointment and waiting through endless queue numbers to speak to a doctor! Now, you can choose to consult a doctor online instead and reduce the risk of being in close physical proximity with others.