By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 21 Apr: Dr Sujata Sanjay, gynaecologist and obstetrician, Sanjay Orthopedic, Spine and Maternity Centre, has stated that parents should listen to their children’s fears on the COVID-19 outbreak and not dismiss them. Before talking to them about what they may be seeing on the news, parents should make sure they have an understanding of the virus first. For children hearing the news, fears surrounding it may be especially daunting.
Dr Sujata Sanjay advises parents to talk to their children about the potential risks. Parents should make themselves available to help them work through their fears. Parents, in turn, should make sure they have an understanding of the virus first.
Dr Sujata Sanjay added, “Parents should point out that it is a respiratory virus and that the illness can be asymptomatic, or have symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Parents can use the example of comparing it to other viruses such as influenza, and talk about how hand hygiene is the most important thing to prevent the virus.”
Children should be told to wash their hands for 20 seconds after bathroom use, before eating, and after going to public places. Also, they should avoid touching their mouth, eyes, and nose. They should learn to cover the mouth and nose with a tissue or flexed elbow while coughing and sneezing. Dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub. Do not touch any objects or face after coughing or sneezing. Parents should listen to their children’s fears and not dismiss them. This could be accomplished by practicing active listening.
“Parents should also consider how their fears may be impacting their children,” Dr Sujata added.
If the child is starting to experience panic attacks or phobias surrounding corona virus or something else, a therapist might help the child and parent work through these fears in a healthy way. The important thing is to continue having open communication as a family. Don’t be afraid to turn off the news if necessary.
Clean the child’s toys, the floor and commonly touched objects at least once a day at home. Don’t allow the child to come in close contact with anyone who has a cold, fever or flu-like symptoms. Try to engage the child in indoor activities. Avoid outdoor activities as much possible. Children with fever, cough and running nose should not be allowed to meet others especially the elderly grandparents.
Don’t forget to give a nutritious diet with plenty of water. Give citrus fruits (orange, lemon, grapefruit) and vegetables which are rich in vitamin C, vitamin D containing foods (cheese, egg yolks) and zinc-containing foods (legumes, lentils, beans, and nuts).