How to help children of all ages navigate the COVID-19 pandemic

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A certified child life specialist tells KFOR how to address COVID-19 and isolation with your child.

“Finding other things in life to be grateful for and thankful for and focusing on that because our children are really paying attention to how we’re reacting,” said Lindsey Gardner.

Certified child life specialist, Lindsey Gardner says a way to explain coronavirus to a child is looking at it like a germ.

“Depending on a child’s age a germ is kind of an abstract concept, but talking about how germs can make us sick. So right now there’s a new type of germ, that we don’t know a whole lot about and it’s making a lot of people sick so we’re practicing safety,” said Gardner.

Gardner says with lots of changes going on, feeling in control is a huge aspect for a child of any age so it’s important to get them involved in decision making.

“They can kind of help chose maybe how their routine looks during the day. They can choose what activity they’re going to do at playtime,” she said.

She says to keep children’s minds off being isolated they can do activities they’re used to doing at home.

“Also coming up with projects and other more involved games or activities are going to keep them a little bit more focused and kind of create a little bit more newness to it,” she said.

If you have an older or school aged child it’s important to give them an on-going project.

She says one of the things we have on our side right now is technology to keep everyone connected.

“People are just being really creative doing FaceTime, doing skype, doing different apps that they have now so being able to use technology to help connect is really important,” she said.

She says if using technology isn’t something that’s possible for your family there’s always regular mail to send letters or pictures.

“Just using those resources to help connect and kind of feel more together when you’re not able to physically be together is going to be important,” she said.

Continued Coronavirus Coverage

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