Talking To Kids About COVID

www.medpagetoday.com
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Strategies to help parents communicate with their children about the pandemic
For nurse practitioners, learning to communicate effectively with pediatric patients determines the success of care. Strong communication makes children more cooperative with treatments and less anxious about procedures.

As a pediatric nurse practitioner, I am often asked by parents for advice about how to talk to their children about stressful life events such as divorce, military deployment of a parent, or change of schools. And now, of course, parents are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic -- a serious life stress that impacts every aspect of family functioning and daily activities.

According to the CDC, compared with adults, children, who account for 8.8% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S., have milder symptoms and a lower mortality rate. However, the death of a loved one, extended separation from parents due to quarantine or hospitalization, as well as school closures and social isolation can all lead to long-lasting psychological effects in children.

Studies have indicated that these factors -- prolonged separation from parents, isolation, and quarantine -- can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression in children, even after the period of isolation and quarantine end. But research has also indicated that the impact of terminal…
Maryann Valcourt, PhD
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