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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Pulumbarit

How to talk to kids about COVID-19

How do you talk to kids about sensitive issues such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

Photo courtesy of Pexels

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) says the COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest global challenge since World War II.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), first found in Wuhan, China in 2019. The virus has now spread to every continent on the earth, except Antartica, UNDP says.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health crisis but also a socio-economic dilemma, UNDP says.

The situation has caused stress for families especially as many communities remain in quarantine.

The organization Relief Web says the signs of stress in children include: clinging or hanging onto their parents or guardians; thumb-sucking, bedwetting, and other similar regressive behaviors; changes in sleeping or eating habits; more frequent crying or bouts of irritability, and being either withdrawn or hyperactive.

The United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF) has some suggestions on how parents can talk to their children about COVID-19, including:

(1) Asking open questions about COVID-19, listening, and assessing how much the children know about the disease;

(2) Explaining the truth about the disease in a child-friendly way;

(3) Teaching kids how they can protect themselves and their friends, and

(4) Ending conversations in a positive way and ensuring that the children are not distressed.

COVID-19 situation in PH

Based on the COVID-19 site of the Philippine government, COVID-19 "is known to target a person’s respiratory system. Infected patients may exhibit symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, and in some cases, muscle pain and sore throat. Some patients may also be asymptomatic."

As of 4:00 p.m. on July 16, the Department of Health says the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines stands at 61,266, including the 38,183 active cases.

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