In recent weeks, the Coronavirus is frightening everyone, young and old. In some moments our mind can get overwhelmed by anxiety and lose sight of its own certainties . This happens to adults, but also to children. Even the little ones, in fact, have the opportunity to hear the news and breathe the general panic around them. How, then, to explain the Coronavirus to children, without alarming them excessively and avoiding amplifying their fears?
Explaining Coronavirus To Children: The Importance Of Giving Correct Information
To properly explain the Coronavirus to children Emergency First Aid Courses Training in Melbourne, it is important, first of all, to get the information correctly. These days, in all the news and the main information programs, nothing else is mentioned. However, not all information is correct and verified. To explain the Coronavirus to children, therefore, it is essential to seek realistic information through adequate channels.
But what is the Coronavirus? As you can read the Coronavirus includes a large family of respiratory viruses. They can cause a variety of mild to moderate diseases. Among these, we find both the common cold, but also more complex respiratory syndromes such as MERS or SARS. The Coronavirus that scares us so much today is the one identified for the first time in humans at the beginning of this year, on January 9, 2020, by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of China. This virus is associated with an outbreak of pneumonia cases recorded in Wuhan, China, late last year.
In order to know and, consequently, to give correct information, as mentioned above, it is important to rely on reliable sources. And this is also very important in explaining the Coronavirus to children. Obviously, this must be done according to the age and development level of the little ones. It must be done in a simple and clear way, avoiding unnecessary details or information that risk frightening them. It is important, however, to talk about it . As mentioned above, in fact, we are bombarded with information and it is quite unlikely to protect them from this type of news. For this reason, explaining the Coronavirus to children and answering their questions becomes fundamental.
Explaining Coronavirus To Children: How To Manage Fear?
The news that we are given is not always clear and, not always, it is easy to understand how to read the numbers we have available. In these days, when all the media keep us updated on the situation, it is normal that fear can trigger. In adults, but also in children who inevitably breathe the climate of tension around them. Fear, however, must not scare. It is a basic emotion, functional for survival. Fear is necessary to protect us from harm. It is thanks to fear, in fact, that the human being has survived to our days.
What can happen, however, is that our risk assessment is not entirely correct. The fear we experience, therefore, is not proportional to the real danger of the event. The alarm system can be activated in an exasperated way. And this happens above all when factors come into play that can alter our ability to assess risk.
With the Coronavirus we are facing something new, which we are learning about in recent weeks and which is not yet fully understood. We don’t know much. It is an invisible virus that has the ability to spread very quickly and (apparently) in an incomprehensible way. It turns out, therefore, something that cannot be controlled and therefore, for our brain, extremely dangerous. Furthermore, the Coronavirus is potentially deadly and, even if the number of deaths is not alarming in itself, there are a whole series of complications related to the management of hospitals and beds, even for other situations.
All this inevitably leads us to deal with one of the strongest fears of the human being: the fear of death .
Explaining Coronavirus To Children: Some Practical Advice
Avoid The Bombing Of Information
As mentioned earlier, even children are subjected to the bombardment of information about what is happening in these weeks. It becomes useless, as well as counterproductive, not to explain to them what is happening. This, however, does not mean leaving the children at the mercy of constant information. It is important to monitor news viewing and filter them. We must avoid the bombardment of news and updates, often alarmist. It is advisable to inquire about suitable sites, such as, for example, that of the Ministry of Health. In fact, a lot of information, if not appropriate to the age of children, risks being misunderstood.
Give Space To Their Questions
It is important to explain the Coronavirus to children. Giving clear and simple information about what is happening allows children to have answers, avoiding that they are given explanations independently and, therefore, often incorrectly. Children can make incorrect connections or misconceptions that risk amplifying their concerns. Answering their questions in a simple and clear way, therefore, becomes central.
Welcome Their Fears
Fear is a physiological emotion. Neither good nor bad. It’s an emotion, period. And, as such, we cannot control it. This means that it is completely pointless, as well as counterproductive, to tell a child who shows concern not to be afraid. It can be much more useful, however, to talk about it and share your fears. Listening and welcoming the fears of children, talking about them together and legitimizing the emotion is very important.
The Importance Of The Example
We cannot expect children to be calm in the face of listening to information if we adults are the first to be alarmed. As always, showing yourself as a functional model of emotion management is very important. It is not always simple, but it is an excellent teaching that we can pass on to children.
Beware Of Discrimination And Racism
In recent weeks, thanks to the tension linked to the spread of Coronavirus, we have witnessed many episodes of discrimination. Some more subtle, others more overt. It may seem useless to specify it, but perhaps it is not: fear does not justify episodes of racism and discrimination. As mentioned earlier, children absorb the behavior of those around them like sponges and the risk is that they will take these models as an example.
The Importance Of The Sense Of Responsibility
Coronavirus is a serious phenomenon. It is essential to be responsible and follow the instructions given to us regarding the behavior to be adopted and the rules to follow. It is a very important ethical, social and community responsibility choice. Helping children understand this, through example, becomes central.
Explaining Coronavirus To Children: Knowing To Understand
Knowing the Coronavirus phenomenon is the first step to understanding what can be done to prevent its spread. As mentioned before, fears are functional and allow you to take action to prevent contagion. Knowing, therefore, can protect you from imprudent behavior. It is necessary to be informed, but also to be willing to live with this fear, which cannot be eliminated. It is essential to accept fear, which is completely physiological in the face of what is new and unknown.
The problem, however, arises when fears are excessive and invade the daily life of adults and children. When the physiological concern for what is not known becomes an intense fear, in fact, it risks blocking people. And this can also happen to children, who can experience severe agitation, anxiety and real panic attacks.
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